Agam Metal Works group, the metal and industrial equipment maker, on Thursday asked Tel Aviv District Court to order the dismantling of financially troubled defense firm Israel Military Industries (IMI) in an attempt to retrieve the NIS 1.1 million that is owed to the group.
"IMI has failed to pay us for several months, and we are urging the government to find a solution for paying off the firm's suppliers. We have stopped supplying IMI until we can be sure that IMI's debt will be repaid," Zwika Rosenblum, financial officer of Agam Metal Works told The Jerusalem Post.
He added that Agam decided to go to court as the financially troubled defense firm does not appear to be in a situation to repay its debt in the near future. "IMI is one of our big customers, and the failure of repayment could threaten our survival and lead to a delay in salary payments," he said.
The three suppliers of the group Agam Metal, Agam Ma'alot Projects and Agam Blade Cutting, which together filed for the court order, are owed a total of NIS 1.16m., of which NIS 964,570 is long outstanding debt.
Agam Metal Works designs, manufactures and markets all kinds of trailers, safes, ramps and conveyors and undertakes subcontracting projects of heavy metal work components. The group has 300 employees spread over four factories. Agam Metal Works has been supplying parts for MK-87 aerial bombs to IMI.
IMI has major debts and has been late in paying suppliers, its 2,900 workers and its 1,200 retirees. Annual infusions from the Finance Ministry to the company over the last decade have totaled NIS 9.8 billion.
At the beginning of August, the finance and defense ministers set up a special steering committee to save the company. It was headed by Yossi Bachar and Amos Yaron, the directors-general of the Treasury and the Defense Ministry.
At the end of last month, the Ministerial Committee on Privatization, headed by Acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert, approved the sale of state-owned IMI through public tender, after the proposal to dismantle IMI was withdrawn.