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WTC owner in preliminary talks to invest in IDB

Silverstein was interested in investing in Israel before the Sept 11 attack, but since then has focused on rebuilding

Jewish real estate tycoon and World Trade Center owner Larry Silverstein is in preliminary talks regarding an investment in IDB, according to Hebrew-language daily Yediot Ahronot

Since Kardan backed out of the purchase of 23.6% of the concern, Silverstein has expressed interest in an investment and is in contact with Leon Recanati.

Until recently, Silverstein expressed interest in investing in Israel. However, since the Twin Towers disaster, Silverstein has declared his primary goal the reconstruction of the towers. Sources close to the deal say Silverstein has given no formal answer on the IDB matter.

In the original deal, Kardan was to become a partner in the IDB controlling stake, in a deal inked at NIS 35.27 per share, while the company now trades at NIS 22.5.

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An IDB spokesman stated in response to the reports "As a matter of policy, the company does not comment publicly on business moves."