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After discussions lasting into the night,

Discount Investment Corporation (TASE:


) granted a fourth extension to businessman Eli Elezra to finalize the acquisition of

Albar Mimunit Services

(Hebrew site).

The final date for completion is now Friday, September 20, 2002.

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Discount Investment Corporation and Elezra first annouced the deal over the car leasing company in May 2002. Elezra-Yozma was supposed to take over the company within three months for NIS 268.5 million, financing a third of the transaction itself, and borrowing the rest from the banks.

Later the Supervisor of Banks demanded that Elezra-Yozma finance half the deal using its own resources.

Meanwhile, the requisite permits were delayed and DIC postponed the completion date three times, most lately from August 19 to September 3, Tuesday at midnight.

On the previous occasions DIC approved the delay on the spot. This time the discussion lasted more than 24 hours.

Elezra claimed to have all the required documentation and said that further delays were due to technicalities and red tape. "In practice, the deal has been closed," he told TheMarker today. "What remains is to finalize the drafts. An announcement that the parties have completed the move will be made in a few days."

When publicizing the deal in May, the parties noted that any side breaching the agreement would be liable to an NIS 50 million penalty.

The recession has been hard on Albar, which netted NIS 1 million in the second quarter of 2002 compared with NIS 10 million in the same quarter of last year.