Steimatzky sale deal will keep nation's largest book retailer open

According to Globes, Steimatzky had over NIS 350 million in debts, had a deficit of NIS 166 million, and was losing “tens of millions of shekels” annually.

By
April 23, 2014 20:47
1 minute read.
Writers are often taxed highly the first year after their book is published.

girl reading book 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Steimatzky, Israel’s largest book chain, was rescued from near bankruptcy on Wednesday when Arledan Investments agreed to buy the cashstrapped company from Markstone, the private equity group that bought it in 2005.

Arledan CEO Tzali Reshef called the acquisition “a strategic step,” and said he “believes in Steimatzky and its employees, and will continue to develop the chain.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The value of the deal was not publicized and the acquisition’s finality is subject to regulatory approval and due diligence by Arledan.

Markstone’s chairman, former UN ambassador Dan Gillerman, resigned over the group’s inability to support companies in its portfolio.

Steimatzky’s CEO Iris Barel, however, will stay on.

In a letter, she promised employees that Arledan would work to “consolidate the company’s position as the country’s leading bookseller and content provider, and will continue to develop its business in the coming years.”

The fate of the financially fraught book retailer, which alongside its fiercest competitor Tzomet Sfarim controls the vast majority of the country’s book market, has been in question in recent weeks.



In early April, Markstone had to inject money into the chain just to ensure that it could pay its suppliers. The next day, Bank Hapoalim foreclosed on NIS 125 million of its assets to recover part of the roughly NIS 140m. it is owed in loans. The bank extended the company’s credit line by some NIS 4m. to allow it to stay open for a few months.

According to Globes, Steimatzky has over NIS 350m. in debts, a deficit of NIS 166m., and is losing “tens of millions of shekels” annually. Markstone bought the company in 2005 for $55m. from Eri Steimatzky, whose father Yechezkel founded the company in 1925.

A possible deal to sell the chain to Yediot Books reportedly fell through when Markstone manager Amir Kess died in a bicycling accident on his way to work on April 3. Several other groups were in talks to buy it as well.

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD