Dankner completes deal to acquire control of Ma’ariv

Discount Investment said it had been approached by the main shareholders in Ma’ariv, which publishes the Hebrew daily of the same name.

By NADAV SHEMER
March 24, 2011 22:53
1 minute read.
Egyptian shop owners read newspapers in Cairo.

egypt newspaper_58 reuters. (photo credit: Peter Andrews / Reuters)

 
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Billionaire businessman Nochi Dankner and Ma’ariv Holdings Ltd. chairman Zaki Rakib completed a deal on Thursday to transfer control of the publisher of Hebrew daily Ma’ariv to Discount Investment Corporation, a unit of Dankner’s IDB Holding Corp.

Under the deal, Dankner will gain a 59 percent stake in the company and his Discount Investment Corp. will inject NIS 120 million into Ma’ariv, onesixth of it immediately.

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Dankner set to acquire control of Ma’ariv

The parties will undertake a four-month review period, during which Rakib will stay on as the company’s controlling shareholder. Ofer Nimrodi will remain as Ma’ariv Holdings’ other main shareholder, through his Israel Land Development Company.

Dankner, who has never previously owned a holding in a media company, said that he would ensure that the Ma’ariv daily would become first and foremost a “Zionist and patriotic Israeli newspaper” that would not serve particular political or financial interests.

“[It will be] a newspaper committed to safeguarding democratic values, namely the rule of law and freedom of expression; a newspaper that will place a special emphasis on social sensitivities and on human interaction and the equality of all people; a newspaper that is attentive to the feelings of the public and to progress in the Galilee and the Negev and all the outlying areas,” he said.

From the perspective of Ma’ariv, the agreement will hopefully end years of financial troubles and speculation over potential buyers. US billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Len Blavatnik and Russian-Israeli businessman Arcadi Gaydamak were among those who had been reported in recent years as potentially interested in purchasing a controlling stake in the paper.

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