Israel Chemicals signs deal to sell stake in IDE for $178 million

Israel Chemicals signs deal to sell stake in IDE for $178 million

ICL says sale is to partnership that includes IDE’s CEO, Avshalom Felber. and institutional bodies in Israel

A 2005 file photo from the Ashkelon desalination plant. (Edi Israel/Flash90)
A 2005 file photo from the Ashkelon desalination plant. (Edi Israel/Flash90)

Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) said Thursday it has signed an accord for the sale of its 50 percent stake in water desalination company IDE Technologies to a consortium of investors for about $178 million in cash.

In a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the chemicals manufacturer said the sale accord is with to a limited partnership that includes IDE’s CEO, Avshalom Felber, and institutional bodies from the Clal Insurance Company Ltd. and the Israeli teachers’ union educational funds’ group.

ICL said in April it was in talks to sell its stake in the water desalination unit.

IDE, set up in 1964 as a government body, specializes in the development, engineering construction and operation of water desalination and industrial water treatment plants. Using small to large cost-effective solutions and membranes the company has set up some of the largest plants in the world, including in Israel, China, the US, India and Australia, according to its website.

ICL jointly owned the company together with Delek Group Ltd., and both companies have been trying to sell their stakes in IDE since 2014 in a restructuring process in which the two firms, independently, are selling off assets that are not part of their core activities. Israel Chemicals is a chemical and fertilizer manufacturer, while Delek Group, a holding company owned by billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, is refocusing its activities on the natural gas industry.

Payment will be made upon completion of the transaction. which is expected to take place during 2017, the filing said.

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