Local Soccer: Canadian investors close in on Mac TA purchase

Jewish businessman Alex Shnaider confirms Midland Group owned by him and co-founder Eduard Shifrin has reached deal to buy club.

Alex Shnaider 88 (photo credit: )
Alex Shnaider 88
(photo credit: )
Canadian Jewish businessman Alex Shnaider confirmed on Wednesday that the Midland Group owned by him and co-founder Eduard Shifrin has reached an agreement to purchase Maccabi Tel Aviv. "Although it is Midland's policy never to comment on specific financial details before negotiations have been finalized, I can confirm that my business partner, Eduard Shifrin, and I have reached an agreement with the Maccabi Tel Aviv Sporting Club regarding the purchase of a controlling interest in the soccer team, and we are very proud to be involved in this unique and exciting merger," a statement released by the Midland Group read. The 39-year-old Shnaider was born in Russia and his worth has been estimated at $1.8 billion by Forbes magazine. The Midland Group has a big stake in Zaporizhstal, the fourth-largest steel mill in Ukraine and also has interests in real estate, retail and manufacturing. Shnaider is the former owner of the Midland Formula 1 Racing team, which he renamed after purchasing the Jordan F1 team in 2005. After two years at the bottom of the F1 standings Shnaider sold the team in September 2006 to Dutch sports car maker Spyker. "As is well known through our previous ties to Formula 1, Midland is no stranger to the world of sport, and we are eager to seize this opportunity quickly. Midland hopes the current owners will be able to resolve their internal differences soon, as we believe that finalizing an agreement as quickly as possible is necessary in order to bring stability to the team," Midland's statement continued. Current Tel Aviv owner Loni Hertzikovitch is embroiled in an on-going dispute with Roni Mana, who invested money in the club at the start of the season and is now demanding compensation or a stake in the club. "Maccabi Tel Aviv and its junior club make up one of the largest and most elite sporting organizations in Israel. Although Midland will not disclose its plans before a deal is confirmed, we make no secret of our desire to nurture and improve Maccabi Tel Aviv's situation, both on and off the field. Should an agreement be finalized, I am looking forward to strengthening my ties with Israel, and hopefully restoring this proud franchise to its rightful Premier League status," the statement concluded.