Israel’s Government Companies Authority, a unit of the Ministry of Finance, has recommended allowing Eli Rosenberg to acquire control of El Al Israel Airlines (LY, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion), local media and Reuters confirmed.

The prospective buyer has subsequently demanded that the cash-strapped company arrange a meeting “immediately and urgently” between him and the board of directors “in order to move forward with the immediate injection” of USD75 million in return for a 45% stake, Globes reported.

The authority said it would allow control of the flag carrier to pass to Rosenberg, a 30-year-old son of American businessman Kenny Rosenberg, conditional on proof of his Israeli citizenship or residency. Israel will retain the remaining shareholding.

However, the deal also needs the approval of Israel’s finance and transport ministers.

As previously reported, El Al’s board had earlier agreed to a government bailout that may put the carrier back under state ownership.

A letter sent to El Al's legal representative Avigdor Klagsbald from Rosenberg's lawyers on August 5 said that each member of the board has a personal obligation “to make sure that all required actions are taken to save the company” now that “the authorised people in the state of Israel have approved our client to be the controlling shareholder of El Al.”

It added: “Of course, the permit puts an end to all other claims and attempts to cast doubt on the fact that our client is the investor, attempts which rely only on gossip and groundless theories.”

The letter also changed the deadline for the expiry of the offer from the end of August to whenever the board of directors approves the deal.