JERUSALEM – Israel’s defense minister has ordered a halt to preparations for an initial public offering of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) over fears of possible security breaches, the Israeli business daily Globes reported on Monday.
State-owned IAI was considering offering a minority stake in the company, but Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had ordered a halt to preparations for the IPO because officials in his department had expressed concerns that outside investors might become privy to highly classified information, the report said.
It added that the freeze would remain in place at least until senior Defense Ministry officials complete a detailed report on the implications and possible risks if IAI shares were to be issued to the public.
The Defense Ministry declined comment on the report and an IAI spokeswoman was not immediately available.
IAI’s Chief Financial Officer Eyal Younian told Reuters in March last year that to help finance acquisitions the government should move ahead soon with plans to sell a 20 percent stake in the company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.