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Israel - Charedi Businessman to Hold Stakes in Shabbat-Active Company -- VosIzNeias.com
Israel - Charedi businessman and Shufersal Co-Chairman Shulem Fisher, who had previously voiced strong objections to businesses being open on Shabbat, is due to partner up in British Israel Investments Ltd. whose shopping centers are open on Saturdays. British Israel is planning to purchase Iris Hagilboa Construction and Development Ltd. owned by Fisher and the Bronfman family. Bronfman Fisher Investments are slated to sell Iris Hagilboa, which owns the Ikea compound in Rishon Lezion, in exchange for 10% of holdings in British Israel. Among its other businesses, British Israel runs the Queen of Sheba mall in Eilat, stores in the Bilu junction, food courts and amusement rides in the Grand Canyon mall in Haifa and movie theaters and food courts in the Avnat mall in Petah Tikva - all of which are operated on Shabbat. One of the reasons for Bronfman Fisher Investments' withdrawal from the partnership with Blue Square's Dudi Weissman four years ago was the fact that Weissman owns the AM:PM chain, which is open on Saturdays. However, the holdings that Bronfman and Fisher will get from the sale of Iris Hagilboa to British Israel will be divided between the two, such that Fisher himself will only hold a small amount of British Israel shares. A spokesman for Bronfman Fisher Investments commented that the group will hold British Israel minority stakes, "This is a financial investment without any involvement in management."