The corona virus has preyed on the cards for the Thelma tourism company. A little less than a year ago, in December 2019, the company was prepared for an IPO on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at a value ranging from NIS 800 million to NIS 1 billion; Yesterday, Calcalist revealed that the Shlomo Group, which is controlled by the Schmelzer family, is in talks to purchase 50% of the company’s shares for up to NIS 80 million, subject to performance.
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This means that the value of the company in the transaction will be at most NIS 160 million – a value that is less than one-fifth of that according to which the Shmol family, which controls Thelma, planned to issue the company. If the contacts mature into a deal, the money flow from the Shlomo Group will be made in two stages: NIS 30 million in the first phase, and the balance subject to performance and according to Thelma’s recovery from the crisis in the industry.
“We were not looking for immediate money, but a partner who will be there to the extent that the crisis lasts longer than expected,” Thelma CEO Aya Magen told Calcalist. “We are making adjustments to the situation. This transaction has synergistic meanings, so it is done in stages, and the value in the advanced stages will be different. “
Magen also recounted how Thelma coped with the crisis, which left her with no revenue and the need to return customers money for canceled flights. “We did everything to reduce expenses. We outsourced 93% of the 500 employees to the Knesset and left a small team to take care of customers. In the last two months we have started to see positive signs that in the big companies are back to flying. But everything has now been shut down again. “
For the Shlomo Group, headed by Assi Schmelzer, this is a strategic acquisition that will allow it to expand in the field of tourism. Thelma’s various businesses are singular to some of those of the Shlomo Group, and especially to the car rental activity that is concentrated in the Shlomo Sixt company.
In addition, Shlomo Group is active in the field of shipyards through maintenance in Israeli shipyards (25% directly and indirectly) recently issued; In the field of industry through the subsidiary Afcon; And in the fields of real estate and insurance through the subsidiaries Shlomo Real Estate and Shlomo Insurance.
For Thelma, the IPO is not the only thing that has come into the freeze. Last January, Thelma signed a deal to acquire the American Express Travel franchise in Israel from Issta for NIS 130 million. Currently, the deal is on hold.
Thelma was founded in 1987 by Thelma Shmol, who owns the company together with her son, Erez Shmol, who serves as chairman. The company is engaged in tourism management, mainly for business clients. Thelma’s best-known activity is the Alice search engine.
|Erez Shmol, CEO of Thelma Tourism|
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