|Died||11 September 2011
|Occupation||Businessman and shipping tycoon|
Judah "Yuli" Ofer (1924, Galați, Romania – 11 September 2011, Herzliya, Israel) was an Israeli businessman who specialized in the field of real estate and industry, and one of the wealthiest people in Israel. A member of the Ofer family, the annual Forbes magazine's list of The World's Billionaires estimated in 2011 his fortune, together with that of his elder brother Sammy, to be $10.3 billion, ranked him in 2011 as the 79th in wealthiest people in the world, and the wealthiest man in Israel.
Life and career
Born 1924 in Romania. The Ofer family immigrated to Mandate Palestine while Yuli was six months old. The family lived in Haifa. Yuli Ofer served in the Israeli Defense Forces in infantry and ended his relatively long military career at the rank of major. Afterwards he began his business career in Haifa, where he supplied equipment for ships and along with his brother Sammy they both established the Ofer Brothers Group. In 1956 he and Sammy established the shipping company "Mediterranean routes".
During the 1960s and 1970s the Ofer Brothers Group became an international shipping company as Yuli Ofer became in charge of conducting the company's operations in Israel and Sammy Ofer became in charge of conducting the company's international operations. In the 1980s the Ofer Brothers Group began getting into the Tanker industry in Hong Kong and Singapore. With time they also established a subsidiary company which focused on Cruise ships named "Royal Caribbean". In 1994 the Ofer Brothers were among the purchasers of the controlling interest in the Mizrahi Bank, and in 1999 the family purchased the Israel's largest holding company Israel Corporation and in addition acquired several properties from the Israeli government among them the Oil Refineries in Haifa, Israel Chemicals and Zim.
Yuli Ofer founded the "Melisron" company which specializes in real estate and owned several shopping malls in Israel: Ramat Aviv Mall, Renanim Mall, Kiryon Mall and 20 other shopping centers.
In 2002, the Ofer brothers separated their assets: Sammy Ofer's assets in real estate and in the Mizrahi bank was transferred to his brother Yuli, and in exchange Yuli's assets in the Israel Corporation holding company were transferred to Sammy.
Yuli Ofer died on September 11, 2011, aged 87 at his home in Herzliya; with his elder brother Sammy having died three months prior.
- Businessman Yuli Ofer passes away at the age of 87 - published on the Jerusalem Post on September 12, 2011
- Netanyahu laments death of Yuli Ofer - published on Ynet on September 12, 2011
- Yuli Ofer, one of Israel's richest men, dies at 87 - published on The Seattle Times on September 12, 2011