Sources inform ''Globes'' that the trustees of Office Depot Israel Ltd. will ask the court to approve the sale of the troubled retailer to office supply chain Kravitz Ltd., even though the bid by Tzahi Fishbein and former Shufersal CEO Effi Rosenhaus was declared the winner in the auction. The sources added that, last Thursday, Kravitz and its new partners, the former owners of the AM:PM supermarket chain, offered an improved bid for Office Depot Israel of NIS 38.5 million, plus a bank guarantee of an additional 10% (NIS 3.85 million).
Office Depot Israel, previously owned by department store chain Hamashbir 365 Holdings Ltd. (TASE:MSAH), has been operating under a stay of proceedings, due to tens of millions of shekels in debt. The court appointed Israel Bachar and David Forer as trustees, and Bachar is also running the company.
The sources said that the trustees will reach a deal on the sale with Kravitz and its new partners today, and submit it to the court.
There were three bids for Office Depot Israel: Avi Malka's Retail Israel offered NIS 42 million; Fishbein and Rosenhaus offered NIS 35 million; and Kravitz offered NIS 28 million. The trustees rejected Malka's bid because they believe that the malls would not support it and would refuse to transfer Office Depot Israel's leases.
A source told "Globes" that he believes that Fishbein and Rosenhaus may also make an improved offer.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 3, 2013
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