Success Group awarded Better Place assets, Green EV to keep intellectual property

Court agrees to sell the assets of the defunct Better Place electric car company to Tzahi Merkur’s Success Group for NIS 11 million.

Nadav in Better Place car_390 (photo credit: Nadav Shemer)
Nadav in Better Place car_390
(photo credit: Nadav Shemer)
The Central District Court on Sunday agreed to sell the assets of the defunct Better Place electric car company to Tzahi Merkur’s Success Group for NIS 11 million.
The decision came after a series of mishaps and mishandlings prevented Green EV consortium, the original purchaser, from making payments. Green EV will, however, retain Better Place’s intellectual property rights.
The operational assets, being held by liquidators Sigal Rosen-Rechav and Shaul Kotler, originally had a price tag of NIS 18m. The intellectual property rights were registered in Switzerland.
Success Group will have until September 30 to make its first payment, NIS 2m.
The court decision specified that the group would be responsible for continued payments even if, for example, vehicles were not released to it by the state – the problem Green EV cited for its failure to make payments.
The court agreed, however, that the purchase price could drop NIS 2m. if the Supreme Court invalidated sales to customers of cars more than 12 months old.
The court will reconvene on Thursday at 1 p.m. to address remaining issues.
While whoever takes over the operational assets already will have a license to use the Better Place intellectual property in Israel, American-Israeli solar entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz, head of Green EV, told The Jerusalem Post that the consortium’s decision to keep the intellectual property rights was critical nonetheless.
The intellectual property, he explained, “is the most valuable part of the portfolio,” because of its ability to bring an idea “made in Israel” around the world.
With the intellectual property, the consortium will be able to spread the idea of managed charging, battery swapping, smart charge points and onboard power management throughout the globe, Abramowitz said. All of this could enable Israel “to be an ongoing catalyst to promote the infrastructure to switch from polluting gasoline and diesel to electric power.”
The Green EV consortium originally acquired both the Better Place operational assets and intellectual property on July 10.
During his opening remarks in court on Sunday, Abramowitz said that the “liquidators misrepresented to us and our investors two key economic drivers.
“They claimed before we bid for the assets of Better Place that the company has a database of all the drivers, who will pay in NIS 1m. a month, and over 350 cars that we would be able to sell to help cover our costs,” Abramowitz continued.
“Both turned out to be false. To date, they have denied us the ability to sell cars and there was no database for us to bill the drivers, so we and our investors were left out to hang. This is a miscarriage of justice and we shouldn’t be paying the price.”
Following Green EV’s acquisition of Better Place, Central District Court Deputy President Ilan S.
Shiloh granted the consortium an extension on an initial NIS 3.5m. payment for the assets, because the Transportation Ministry had not yet renewed the import licenses necessary to transfer 350 Better Place cars to the consortium.
Green EV had planned to sell the first 200 at NIS 70,000 each, for a total of NIS 14m., Abramowitz explained.
However, rival would-be purchaser Merkur-CCGI – made up of Tsahi Merkur’s firm Success Parking Ltd.
and the Florida-based Car Charging Group, Inc. – filed a request to the court at the end of July, saying that Green EV would not be able to stand by its financial commitments.