"Haaretz" publisher interested in "Ma'ariv"

Amos Schocken has contacted Ma'ariv Holdings trustee Adv. Shlomo Nass for details about acquiring Hebrew daily "Ma'ariv."

Hebrew daily "Haaretz" publisher Amos Schocken has contacted Ma'ariv Holdings Ltd. (TASE: MARV-M) trustee Adv. Shlomo Nass for details about acquiring Hebrew daily "Ma'ariv". Sources inform ''Globes'' that Nass sent the request to the Antitrust Authority to review the next steps under the circumstances.

The sources added that Schocken is not interested in "Ma'ariv" itself, but in its subscriber base. The acquisition of "Ma'ariv" by "Haaretz" would mean the liquidation of "Ma'ariv", rather than its sale as a going concern, which is Ma'ariv Holding's preferred option.

Nass says that there are other options on the table. Names mentioned include "Jerusalem Post" and "Israel Post" publisher Eli Azur, who denies the reports, and Len Blavatnik, who acquired control of Clal Industries and Investments Ltd. (TASE: CII) from Nochi Dankner's IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. (TASE:IDBH), which controls Ma'ariv Holdings, earlier this year. The deadline for submitting bids for Ma'ariv Holdings has been extended by two days.

There are currently two offers for buying assets of Ma'ariv Holdings. Hirsh Holdings Ltd., owned by "Makor Rishon" publisher Shlomo Ben-Tzvi, has offered to buy the "Ma'ariv" brand and operations. Ben-Tzvi's aides say that the offer is still pending. "Israel Today", owned by Sheldon Adelson is interested in buying Ma'ariv's printing house.

If Adelson buys Ma'ariv's printing house, he will stop printing "Israel Today" at Haaretz's printing house, which may explain why Haaretz is seeking to expand its operations. Meanwhile, Schocken and "Haaretz" are also battling the newspaper's employees, who are protesting against what they call their lack of participation in decisions about cutbacks and layoffs.

Nass and Haaretz confirmed the report.

At the same time, "Ma'ariv" employees are seriously considering Nass proposal that they acquire all or part of Ma'ariv Holdings

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 10, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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