Gaydamak offers bid for J'lem's oldest hospital

Billionaire Arkady Gaydamak has put in a NIS 32 million bid to buy Jerusalem's 180-year-old hospital, Bikur Holim, which has been in receivership for several years after it fell into serious debt. It was reported on Wednesday that the previous day, Jerusalem District Court Judge Yosef Shapira ruled that other potential buyers had until next Monday to offer challenges, otherwise negotiating rights would be given exclusively to Gaydamak, who has offered after purchase to run the general hospital for at least five years with the current number of staffers and beds. The other bid has come from the Hertzberg group, which made a somewhat lower bid. Shapira proposed that Gaydamak raise his bid to NIS 35 million, a sum that would represent the value suggested by property assessors. The judge said that if the bids were not raised, negotiations should proceed with the party that made the better offer.