Bank Hapoalim says its Turkish bank gets takeover approach

Bank Pozitif has received an initial takeover approach from a potential investor, the Turkish bank’s parent company Bank Hapoalim said on Tuesday.

Hapoalim, Israel’s largest lender, said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that the unnamed investor has offered to buy all of Pozitif’s outstanding shares, including the 70 percent stake held by Hapoalim.

The remaining 30 percent of the Turkish bank, which swung to a loss of about $12 million in 2014 from a profit in 2013, is owned by Turkey-based C Faktoring.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet said last week that Hapoalim had plans to sell its majority holdings in Pozitif amid political coolness between Israel and Turkey. It cited sources as saying Turkey’s Imam Altinbas was interested in buying Pozitif.

Hapoalim said in the statement that the potential buyer had yet to contact the Israeli lender and the bank’s management and board have not discussed the matter.

A Hapoalim spokeswoman declined further comment.

Hapoalim, which bought a controlling stake in Bank Pozitif Kredi Ve Kalkinma Bankasi in 2006, has said its international operations would mainly focus on the United States and private banking based in Switzerland.