Israel: Court OKs Mizrahi Bank’s acquisition of Union Bank

Israel’s antitrust court on Thursday, November 28, ruled in favor of the acquisition of Union Bank of Israel by rival Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, overturning an earlier decision by the antitrust authority to block the deal, reported Reuters. 

Israel’s third-largest lender late in 2017 agreed to buy Union, the sixth-largest bank, in an all share deal valued at 1.4 billion shekels (US$404 million).

The court overturned a decision from May 2018 by the antitrust authority, which rejected the deal stating the disappearance of Union Bank as a competitor likely would harm competition over private customers in the banking sector. The acquisition received the support of the country’s banking regulator. 

Mizrahi appealed this decision in court, arguing that Union Bank’s market share was too small to impact competition.

In accordance with the court’s decision, the acquisition will have to abide by certain conditions that have yet to be determined regarding credit to the diamonds sector.

Full Content: Reuters

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