The sale of Israeli daily Maariv was finalized on Thursday, with businessman Nochi Dankner selling off the long-running newspaper to Shlomo Ben-Zvi, whose Hirsch Media firm publishes the right-leaning nationalist paper Makor Rishon.

The sale, estimated at NIS 45 million, is expected to result in the dismissal of most of Maariv's 2,000-strong staff.  If, as expected, the Maariv printing plant in Bat Yam, which is not part of the deal, is also sold, it will lead to the loss of jobs of all of the paper's printing and distribution staff.

Dankner has provided a commitment to Maariv's employees that all of the sale proceeds from Maariv would be directed first to the paper's liabilities including its obligations to its workers. He also promised to include a worker representative in the negotiations with Ben-Zvi over the sale of the paper's intangible assets.

Referring to the workers' fears of the possibility of an impending termination, a senior Maariv official said on Wednesday that they "are afraid since they were negligent and brought a paper that was founded in the same year as Israel, a paper that needed dire treatment, to its end."

"They failed because they didn't do what they were supposed to, which was to save a paper and not to use it to try and take out another paper," he added.