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Argentinian businessman Elsztain investing in struggling Israeli firm

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentinian real estate mogul Eduardo Elsztain said he will invest $75 million in Israel businesses.

Elsztain announced Tuesday in Tel Aviv that he will invest $57 million in the struggling IDB group and $18 million in Ganden Holdings, both controlled by Israeli businessman Nochi Danker.

In February Elsztain, a vice president of the World Jewish Congress, bought a 10 percent stake in Ganden for $25 million.

“We believe that IDB is a very strong company. We have studied it and we like the business,” Elsztain said Tuesday during a news conference held at IDB headquarters in Tel Aviv.

“I’ve invested in Israel before. I came here with a strong desire to make a substantial investment in IDB. We think that the Israeli economy is strong and I want to inject the capital immediately. Of course it does not depend only on us, we also need the approval of the court.”

Elsztain will meet this week with Dankner, IDB’s chairman, to close the deal, which reportedly will also involve other non-Israeli investors recruited by Elsztain.

Under the deal, Dankner and Elsztain reportedly would jointly control Ganden, and Elsztain also would become vice chairman of IDB.

Elsztain is a supporter of several Argentinian Jewish institutions and projects. In recent years he has supported Chabad social programs and Jewish youth-related projects. He also is the chair of the Business Advisory Council of the World Jewish Congress.

Elsztain is chairman and chief executive of IRSA, Argentina’s largest real estate company.

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