Electra, a company controlled by the Salkind brothers, acquired 51% of Afikim, which is owned by Amnon Mesilot, which operates public transportation lines, at a company value of NIS 154 million. This, after they have recently been negotiating to bring the franchise to the Seven Eleven convenience store chain to Israel
By Navit Sommer
Published on January 3, 2021
The Salkind brothers enter the field of public transportation for the first time. Electra, a company controlled by Mikey and Danny Salkind, acquired 51% of Afikim (Amnon Mesilot), which operates public transportation lines, at a company value of NIS 154 million. Thus, they continue to expand into additional sectors after entering the sector of cinemas and acquiring the Globus Max chain for NIS 144 million, and after it recently became known that they are negotiating, via Electra, to bring the Israeli franchise chain Seven Eleven to Israel.
Electra was given an option to purchase from Amnon Sela, the owner of Amnon Mesilot, the balance of the company's shares after 8 years from the date of signing the transaction. Eran Sela will continue to serve as the company's CEO for at least the next 5 years.
Electra stated that "Israel's transportation industry is one of the sectors that has received the most significant investments in the Israeli economy in recent years. The Electra Group intends to become one of the largest operators in Israel in this industry. By means of the acquisition, we expand activities in areas such as the operation of the light rail, a fleet of cars and the operation of autonomous vehicle systems, alongside the continued growth expected in the area of buses and commutes."
Amnon Mesilot, owned by Afikim, is a private family company engaged in the field of public transportation. The company has a fleet of about 850 buses, and holds franchises to operate five clusters of public transportation service lines throughout the country, and owns 25% of Netiv La'ir Ltd.
In 2019, it recorded revenues in the amount of about NIS 783 million, an operating profit in the amount of about NIS 77 million and a net profit in the amount of about NIS 42 million.
In recent weeks, Sela has been competing for the acquisition of Israir from IDB creditors. Sela joined Aryeh Friedenson, the owner of Chladot Ltd., and the two offered NIS 80 million for the airline in the early stages of the tender conducted by Adv. Ofir Naor, the liquidator of IDB. The two withdrew when the price of the airline company in the various bids approached the threshold NIS 100 million.
In October 2018, Sela was arrested together with his wife and two sons on suspicion of giving bribes in the form of favors to a senior official in the Ministry of Transportation, in order to get priority in tenders for profitable public transportation lines. The investigation is still ongoing and no one in the family has been convicted.
It should be noted that the area of public transportation is one of the areas that has been growing following the implementation of government plans to expand infrastructure projects in the State of Israel. In this context, the state is working to expand the geographical clusters of the public bus system, in parallel with the processes of privatizing some of the Egged and Dan lines that Afikim will compete on.
In addition, light rail projects in Tel Aviv, the metro project and other projects that the State is promoting are expected to increase the volume of public transportation in Israel and the heft of this area within the national infrastructure pie.
It should be noted that the completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfillment of a number of conditions precedent, including the approval of the Competition Authority and the approval of the Ministry of Transportation.