TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JULY 9: An El Al Boeing 747 passenger jet is towed to its gate after landing at Ben Gurion Airport July 9, 2003 near Tel Aviv, Israel. The Israeli government has begun to sell off all 100% of its stake in El Al, hoping to raise as much as US$150 million, about equal to what is owed in employee liabilities. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Eli Rozenberg, the son of millionaire U.S. businessman Kenny Rozenberg, is closer to acquiring a large stake in El Al Airlines.

Israel’s Government Companies Authority agreed to support Rozenberg’s $75 million bid for a 44.9% controlling stake in the country’s flagship airline, which has been laid low by the coronavirus pandemic, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

Now El Al must decide whether to accept the offer or take a government bailout package that would include a government-backed loan and a stock offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Under the bailout, the state would retain a 61 percent stake in the airline, leading again to its nationalization. The airline was privatized in 2004.

Rozenberg, 30, is a resident of Israel and an Israeli citizen. His father, who lives in New York, owns the Centers Health Care, a national chain of nursing homes and affiliated services in the United States.

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