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The suppliers of the failed Clubmarket supermarket chain intend on presenting their own proposal as part of the creditors agreement, according to the suppliers' representative, attorney Nitzah Posner.

Suppliers are demanding that the uncertainty in the agreement be divided evenly among all the parties: banks, workers and government authorities.

"Because the suppliers are last in priority, everything comes at their expense," she explained.

Erez Vigodman, president and CEO of Strauss-Elite, also spoke out against the agreement yesterday. He said that not only will its costs fall on suppliers, but the

anti-competitive effects of the proposed Supersol-Clubmarket merger will also affect them seriously. In addition, all future claims against Clubmarket will fall on the suppliers' share.

A number of large suppliers, including Strauss-Elite, Coca-Cola and Osem say that they will oppose the agreement in its present form.

Katzrin too

Antitrust Commissioner Dror Strum remembered at the last minute that in the town of Katzrin in the Golan Heights there are only two supermarkets: Clubmarket and Supersol. Therefore, Strum has demanded that Supersol sell the Clubmarket branch as part of the merger agreement.

Supersol disagrees, and insists that if it is required to sell the Katzrin branch, then it should be allowed to keep another of the 17 that it was required to sell in order to receive approval from the antitrust authority. Even though the authority says it made a detailed study of regional competition before approving the deal, it seems that certain areas were overlooked.

Supersol says that it has signed the merger agreement and that it has been approved, and it does not intend to change the deal.

Supersol refused to comment on the matter, and Strum was not available for comment.

Negotiations between the sides are continuing.

Rules for vouchers

Strict rules must be set for the issuing of shopping vouchers following Clubmarket's collapse, according to MK Ehud Ratzabi of Shinui.

He sent his recommendations to Justice Minister Tzipi Livni in a letter stating that issuing such vouchers is the same as issuing bonds or other securities - and that such a process needs to be regulated.

He said that these vouchers are sold with many conditions and limitations that are not listed on the voucher and are often unclear to the consumer. Even worse, he said, is that if the consumer does not use the voucher on time, he loses its entire value.

The present situation is to the consumers' disadvantage and is unacceptable, Ratzabi said, demanding that the Justice Ministry enact regulations, including enforcement, to protect the consumer.