OREANDA-NEWS. Delek  Group has announced today, Friday, October 9, 2015, that it has signed a  strategic agreement to invest in international operator Ithaca Energy (IAE),  which is active in oil and gas exploration and production in the North Sea,  making the Group the largest shareholder in Ithaca.

In  the transaction Delek Group will receive a private allocation of approximately  20% of the company's share capital at a price of CAD 1.05 per share in return  for an overall investment of USD 66 million in the company. Delek will be  entitled to appoint two directors to the company's Board and to be represented  on the Board's various committees. Delek is not limited in increasing its  holdings in Ithaca, and intends to examine such an increase.

Ithaca is a partner  in 11 producing oil and gas fields, in three of which it acts as the operator,  and including the key asset, Greater Stella Area, which has been in development  for several years in which it acts as operator.

This  is an important strategic investment for Delek Group in the international  market. Delek Group has announced in the past year that it intends to focus on  the international energy sector by identifying investment opportunities, with  the emphasis on operators that have synergy with its business. The investment  in Ithaca is a first and very important step of the Group in an E&P company  with a proven track record as an operator.

Using  the Group's large cash balances, which at date of publication of the financial  statements for Q2 2015 stood at NIS 3.4 billion, due inter alia to the series  of successful disposals the Group has made over the last 18 months, the  investment in Ithaca will be financed from the Group's own resources.

Asi Bartfeld, CEO of Delek Group: "This deal is a direct continuation of the strategy the Group has  announced, with its focus on the energy sector in Israel while creating a  strong and stable arm in the international energy market. This is a major step towards  expanding our operations in the international market and widening the Group's  operations into oil and gas exploration and production, while opening up new  opportunities for the Delek Group. Ithaca is synergistic with Delek Group's  existing operations. It is an important link in the chain for our operations in  this field, and is expected to contribute to the Group's continued growth. This  is a company with a most professional and responsible management team, with a  great deal of experience in production and a very high standing in the  international energy market. I am convinced that together with the existing  management we will be able to continue to lead the company to significant  additional achievements in the E&P field. For us this is a first and welcome  step in extending our operations and strengthening our standing in the  international oil and gas exploration and production sector. We intend to  continue to take advantage of existing opportunities in the markets and to  examine further strategic investments in international companies in the energy  field."