A class action petition was filed in Tel Aviv District Court yesterday against the former controlling shareholder of Feuchtwanger Investments, Azriel Feuchtwanger.

The suit was filed by a Feuchtwanger Investments shareholder, Nussbaum-Arigi Upholstery, which holds 440 shares in the company.

Nussbaum-Arigi claims that Azriel Feuchtwanger violated the Companies Law by not offering to buy 5% of the other shareholders' stakes, upon reaching a 25% stake in the company.

The claim asks the court to require Feuchtwanger to pay the other shareholders the sum they would have received from him had they sold then.

According to the plaintiffs, Feuchtwanger must now pay them NIS 15.46 per share, the value at which he sold his stake in the company to the Peled-Givony group. This house of cards is now tumbling down, taking the value of a Feuchtwanger Investments stake with it.

The claim says Feuchtwanger reached a 22.08% stake in the company in January 2001. Three months later the board of directors approved a private allocation for him, and he began to pick up little blocs on the market floor until he reached 25.02%.

He did not then approach the remaining shareholders and offer to buy 5% of their holdings.

After gaining control of the company, the law suit alleges, Feuchtwanger sold most of his holdings on August 22, 2001 at NIS 15.46 per share, amounting to NIS 62 million.

Feuchtwanger has not yet filed a defense.