Israeli Company Walks Away from Egyptian Gas Holdings, Owner Sells Yacht (JEWISH PRESS) By: Jacob Edelist 05/18/12)
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Ampal-American Israel Corp (Nasdaq: AMPL; TASE:AMPL) decided to write
off its entire 12.5 per cent investment in East Mediterranean Gas,
the company that sold Egyptian natural gas to Israel before Egypt
called off the exports.
Ampal, which is controlled by Israeli tycoon Yossi Maiman, said this
week that the cancelled 20-year deal and uncertainties about the
future of Egypt led to its decision to consider that its holding in
has no value.
Maiman, who back in 2006 was 18th on the list of Israel’s richest
people, has put his yacht up for sale this week, as a belt tightening
measure, following the poor performance of his company. The asking
price is $35 million for the Noa 7, named for his daughter.
Maiman is trying to reach a settlement with Ampal bondholders, whom
he recently reportedly told, “I have no money.”
The Noa 7 is a luxury yacht with several bedrooms, a gym, Jacuzzi,
swimming pool, and tanning promenades.
Ampal has not entered in its books any amount it might stand to gain
as a result of the legal battles it is conducting against the
Egyptian government and the Egyptian gas company.
Ampal contends that the Egyptians are in breach of their contractual
commitments, by not protecting the expected supply of natural gas
from terrorist attacks in the Sinai. Its law suit is seeking
compensation from the Egyptian government for the damage caused by
the repeated stoppages in gas deliveries, which the company estimates
at billions of dollars.
Egypt killed its 20-year gas deal with Israel last month, saying the
Israelis hadn’t paid their bills. Israel, for its part, says it
stopped the payments because the terrorist attacks all but cut off
the gas supply last year.
The attacks became a serious threat to the pipeline after Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak had been toppled last year. has sued the
Egyptian government over the disrupted gas supply.
Egyptian critics charge that Israel was getting the gas at below-
market prices—which Israel denies—and that Mubarak’s cronies were
skimming millions of dollars off the proceeds.
Israel relied on Egyptian gas for 40 per cent of its supply, and
viewed the deal as a key component of its peace agreement with Egypt.
Ampal said it recorded charges of $260.4 million in the first quarter
of 2012 in connection with its stake in East Mediterranean Gas.
Ampal’s financial report for the first quarter of 2012 states that it
has a shareholders’ equity deficit of $132 million, after a net loss
of $215 million for the first quarter, compared with a net profit of
$17 million for the same quarter in 2011. (© 2012 JewishPress.
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