Despite an offer by competitors to raise their offers, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled that the Yeinot Bitan chain was the winner of the tender to buy up the assets of the bankrupt Mega supermarket chain. The Rosh Haayin-based group will pay NIS 325 million ($82 million) in the deal. The chain has also committed to paying off several of Mega’s debts, bringing the deal close to NIS 450 million ($120 million).
The final decision came after an appeal by creditors to the court, especially Bank Mizrachi-Tefahot, to resolve the issue once and for all so that the chain could begin to pay off its NIS 150 million in debt.
Yeinot Bitan beat out four other bidders in the deal. The second-best offer, the court said, was that of the Tiv Ta’am chain, which specializes in selling nonkosher meat and operates most of its stores on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Tiv Ta’am was very keen on buying Mega in order to jump-start growth of its chain. Yeinot Bitan caters largely to traditional and religious Israelis – for example, it was the first supermarket chain in the country to sell only Beis Yosef hechsher meats at its meat counters.
On Sunday, the company said that it had concluded a successful meeting with representatives of the Histadrut. As a result, said union chairman Avi Nissenkorn, “we have saved 3,500 jobs. Yeinot Bitan was very fair to the workers.”