Shlomo Ben-Tzvi, the publisher of the right-wing Makor Rishon daily has agreed
to buy Ma’ariv from Nochi Dankner for NIS 85 million, Globes reported on
Ben-Tzvi will not assume Ma’ariv’s debts as part of the deal, nor
will he obtain Ma’ariv’s printing press.
“The buyer intends to continue
the activities of the newspaper after completion of the deal,” Ma’ariv said in a
letter to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
As part of the deal, which is
expected to be completed by next month, 300 to 400 of Ma’ariv’s 2,000 employees
will be offered work at Makor Rishon.
Ben-Tzvi has extensive media
interests. He wants Ma’ariv to have a right-wing orientation similar to Makor
Rishon’s. He was once a shareholder in Channel 10, and in the country’s first
free-sheet, Israeli, published from 2006 to 2008. He also owns the Tchelet cable
television station, which targets the national religious community, and although
he won the tender for the Moreshet (“Heritage”) cable station, he decided not to
take the license.
Earlier last week, Discount Investment’s board decided
to inject an additional NIS 15m. into the ailing Ma’ariv, but added that the
newspaper must immediately initiate a streamlining plan that includes additional
layoffs, on top of the scores of employees already fired, terminating the daily
print edition and continuing only with the Friday print and the online editions.