Abu Dhabi’s ADQ in negotiations to buy Israel’s Phoenix Insurance

Acquisition of Israel’s No. 1 insurer would be one of largest deals since the United Arab Emirates normalized relations with Israel two years ago

Rustam Azmi/Getty Images

View of Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi’s government-owned ADQ is in talks to buy control of Phoenix Holdings, Israel’s biggest insurer, for at least $675 million — between 25-30% of the company.

The negotiations with U.S. investment firms Centerbridge Partners and Gallatin Point Capital are at an advanced stage, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

If closed, the deal would be one of the biggest since the United Arab Emirates and Israel normalized relations in September 2020 under the Abraham Accords. The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala bought a 22 percent stake in an offshore Israeli natural gas field last year for $1.1 billion.

“The transaction will be subject to regulatory approvals, which will include a control permit from [Israel’s] Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority” Centerbridge and Gallatin said in the joint statement.

Under the proposed terms, the two U.S. firms, which together own 33.4% of Phoenix, would sell up to 30% of the insurer to a group of Emirati investment funds led by ADQ, a holding company owned by the emirate of Abu Dhabi.Phoenix was valued in the deal at NIS 9.2 billion (approximately $2.7 billion) according to its stock price, putting the acquisition at $675 million or more, Calcalist reported.

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