Hebrew daily Ma'ariv trustee Chen Berdachev recommends selling the newspaper to The Jerusalem Post publisher Eli Azuri for NIS 4 million. Berdachev submitted the recommendation to Jerusalem District Court Judge David Mintz today, after the only other bidder, Ehud Ragonis, withdrew his offer.
If Judge Mintz approves the sale, The Jerusalem Post will take over Ma'ariv's brand and its publishing, marketing and distribution, subscribers list, property and equipment, copyright and intellectual property, archives, databases, and graphics.
According to Berdachev's recommendations, Azuri intends to continue publishing Ma'ariv and employ its workers - but as new employees at Azuri's company, without transferring their cumulative rights. This comes 18 months after Ma'ariv's previous publisher, Shlomo Ben-Tzvi, did the same thing. Ma'ariv's will sign new contracts at terms to be agreed between them and Azuri's company. He promises to keep Ma'ariv's current employees.
Azuri is offering to hire only 30 Ma'ariv administrative and news desk employees for one year, as well as 20 freelancers.
Berdachev does not think that the sale requires approval of the Antitrust Authority.
Last week, Bedachev preferred Sheldon Aldelson's NIS 14 million bid to buy Ben-Tzvi's other assets, daily newspaper Makor Rishon, and Ma'ariv's news portal nrg, over Azur's NIS 13.5 million offer for both the aforementioned and Ma'ariv.