Bank Hapoalim

(TASE:POLI) is holding talks to acquire an American bank, in case its efforts to buy

Israel Discount Bank of New York

prove fruitless, TheMarker has learned.

Hapoalim chairman Shlomo Nehama advised

Israel Discount Bank

(TASE:DSCT) chairman Arie Mientkavich that Discount New York isn't the only possible acquisition target in its sights.

Discount and Hapoalim have been discussing a company value of $800 million for Discount New York, which is the most profitable arm of the entire Discount group.

Hapoalim's aim is reportedly to merge Discount New York, or whichever bank it winds up buying, with Signature Bank of New York, a Hapoalim subsidiary. The American shareholders of Signature Bank reportedly support a merger with another banking entity.

The bank's aims in expanding its activities abroad include reducing its exposure to the Israeli market.

Bank Hapoalim has not hired a specific investment banker to handle such acquisition, but is availing itself of the services of several investment advisors. Hapoalim's accountant, Gad Somekh, will be finalizing any deal.