The cash-strapped and shuttered Kika furniture store in Netanya will not hold a liquidation sale on Monday as expected, giving the company one last strike a deal to sell its inventory to another retailer.
Court-appointed liquidator Ron Bar-Nir said the company was being given a chance to pursue contacts with Betili - a rival furniture and housewares chain. If a deal isn't clinched with Betili by Monday, Kika will hold a liquidation sale on Tuesday or Wednesday, Bar-Nir said.
The contacts with Betili were carried out all last week but have run into trouble over the price for Kika Israel's inventory. In a request filed with a court for a stay of proceedings, the inventory was valued at NIS 19 million. If a liquidation sale is held, merchandise will be offered at 35% to 50% of the regular retail pricing.
The main contact person on Betili's part is Ofer Eitani, a part owner of E.F. Designs. In addition to Betili, E.F. Designs owns other home furnishing retailers including ID Design and MyHomePage. The Eitani family also owns Carmel Carpets.
Contacts are also underway on renting to Kika the store in Netanya owned by Ashtrom Properties, which has a 15% stake in Kika Israel, a franchise of Austria-based Kika. The talks apparently are centering around leasing the store space to retailers in which Eitani has a business interest, along with any merchandise left from the Kika operations. On Thursday, about 170 of Kika Israel's 240 employees received dismissal letters.
In a related industry development, Yoram Anavi of the financially-troubled 5 Nagarim chain, which closed seven branches about two weeks ago, said chances are high that he has a buyer for the retailer.
Anavi, who owns a 50% stake in the chain that sells children's furniture, said he is in advanced negotiations with a potential American investor, but he declined to give names.
Anavi added that if the deal goes ahead, it is not clear how customers who have not received ordered merchandise and suppliers that have not yet been paid will be dealt with. Anavi said other potential buyers had also expressed interest in the chain.
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