Text size

The trustee of Amir Paper Products, the troubled manufacturer of Tafnukim diapers, officially accepted four bids for the company yesterday.

Amir, together with Kibbutz Amir, was granted court protection from its creditors in August after having accrued debts of NIS 270 million: NIS 160 million of the kibbutz and NIS 110 million of the paper products plant.

The four bidders are Nissan Medical Industries, a manufacturer of paper products and surgical dressings that has worked with Amir in the past, cleaning products company Sano, BPL, and Clear Chemicals.

A fifth company, Imaruf of Turkey, had also expressed interest, and had submitted a first-stage offer at 10:00 A.M. yesterday. However before completing the second stage, which involved placing a bank guarantee of NIS 250,000, the company withdrew. Imaruf's representative, attorney Ofer Shargil, said the company maintains international operations in several fields, including diapers, which it produces in Turkey.

The decision over Amir Paper Products' sale comes down now to the major creditors, and according to sources, apparently there is a dispute between the banks over the next step. Bank Hapoalim, Amir's largest creditor, would like to see the plant up and running immediately - it was halted once court protection was in place - while Israel Discount Bank is keen on seeing an up-front payment to cover Amir's immediate debts.

Details of the bids were not published yesterday, but Nissan had announced that it was willing to inject immediate sums of up to NIS 5 million, conditional on government support, just to get Amir's manufacturing plant in operation. At a later date, the company would then decide on whether to buy Amir out.

Discussions between Amir's trustee, Oren Gottesman, and the banks are expected to finish today, and their accepted bid then will be submitted for approval to the Nazareth District Court. Sources believe that despite disagreements among the banks, the parties will choose the option that sets the plant up and running as soon as possible. Both Nissan and Sano proposed bids involving the immediate reopening of the plant, with a final decision on buying the company postponed to a later date. It is believed that Nissan and Sano also submitted the two highest bids.