Sapir Corp goes private as shareholders approve buyout

Deal is a win for Alex Sapir, whose real estate investment firm includes properties in NY and Miami

Alex Sapir and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (Sapir by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images, Jack Guez/AFP)
Alex Sapir and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (Sapir by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images, Jack Guez/AFP)

Sapir Corp.’s Israeli shareholders have approved Alex Sapir’s proposal to take his real estate investment firm private — at a somewhat higher price than originally planned. The deal is a victory for the company’s namesake, after his attempt three years ago failed.

Holders of a little less than 10 percent of the company’s outstanding shares accepted Alex Sapir’s proposal to buy them out at 3.8 shekels a share, according to a Wednesday announcement. Those shares, plus the nearly 87 percent already controlled by Alex Sapir and partner Gerard Guez, put total approval over the 95-percent threshold required for the buyout to be effective.

The price of the buyout is about $5.54 million, or 19.26 million shekels.

Alex Sapir last month offered to buy back the shares at 3 shekels apiece, after stock prices on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange had taken a beating across the board due to coronavirus. But the company’s stock price rose from 2.62 shekels before the announcement to 3.78 shekels after, and Sapir increased the offer in response.

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“As a family company, it makes sense for us to focus on a long-term strategic management approach,” he said. “We strongly believe in the New York City and Miami markets for the long haul, and are confident that today’s acceptance of our offer will allow us to maximize value and realize the long-term potential of our holdings.”

Sapir Corp., which owns the 264-key NoMo Soho hotel in New York City as well as the 16-unit Arte condo project in Miami’s Surfside, had previously sought to go private in 2017 at a price of about $15 million, but did not meet the 95-percent threshold at that time.

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The company, whose shares have now been delisted from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, will remain a public reporting company in Israel until its outstanding Series 18 bonds are retired. Those bonds have a face value of 150 million shekels or about $43 million, half of which is set to be paid off in July 2021, and the remainder in July 2022, according to TASE disclosures.