Lev Leviev Seeks To Restructure, Hopes For The Best
Leviev's downfall wasn't diamonds, it was real estate. He invested heavily in the New York City real estate boom. Now Leviev, who made his fortune in the diamond cutting and polishing industry is trying to reach an agreement with the creditors chasing his Africa-Israel company in a bid to stave off having to file for bankruptcy. Bloomberg News reports that a recent proposal presented to the court on Dec. 2 would cut Leviev's personal stake in the company from to 53 percent from 75 percent and he will spend $200 million of his own money shoring up the company.
But let's not feel too sorry for Leviev. He still has plenty of money, lives in a lavish mansion in London and has weathered tough times before. His best hope for a fast financial recovery may come from Russia where he has also heavily invested. In the Bloomberg article, Yuval Ben-Zeev, an analyst at Clal Finance Brokerage Ltd., says that Leviev's recovery depends on Russia and specifically the Mall of Moscow.
Leviev's own high-handed behavior may affect the court's decision on his status as controlling shareholder of Africa Israel. According to an article in Haaretz, Judge Varda Alshech didn't take too kindly to the fact that Leviev had repaid some private debt to banks skirting around the bondholders. Alsech said that any money that hadn't been transferred already should not be and chided the company for pleading insolvency and saying it could not pay bondholders while going on to repay other creditors.