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The Sakal group has commissioned economist Dan Tahori to help in its bid to locate a strategic partner, Haaretz has learned.

Tahori is an associate of Nochi Dankner, and he played a role in Dankner's IDB group company Supersol making a successful bid for the collapsed Clubmarket chain.

According to sources in the retail sector, Sakal may turn to the large retail chains to propose some strategic partnership. These sources point to Blue Square's acquisition of Kfar Hashashuim, a toy and games store chain, as an example of the retail chains' interest in expanding their traditional fields of activity, mostly food.

Sakal operated Sakal Electric stores within Clubmarket branches until a few months ago.

Sakal confirmed it had hired Tahori Investments to advise on its search for a partner. The group also announced yesterday that it would no longer be the exclusive importer of LG and JVC electrical goods.

Sakal Duty Free is also establishing a joint venture, together with Newpan, to distribute international brand electrical goods. The joint company, owned 50:50, is estimated to be worth NIS 20 million.

"Sakal decided strategically to develop the field of importing brand goods ... and decided to outsource the activities to an external company that will specialize 100 percent in import and marketing of electric and electronic goods," Sakal Group Chairman Solly Sakal said yesterday of the Newpan project.

"Newpan is an ideal partner for this, because of its impressive ability to import and to penetrate brand goods successfully in the field."

Sakal Duty Free operates seven duty-free stores at Ben-Gurion International Airport, while Sakal Electric has 20 branches. The company, the exclusive Israeli distributor of such names as Starway, Tensai and Vivanco, is run by Solly Sakal's son, Haim.