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The Sakal Group is in negotiations with the Fox-Wizel fashion chain about the possibility of bringing Fox in as a strategic partner for Sakal Sport, Haaretz has learned.

Sources in the sector say Sakal also contacted the Golf fashion chain in a similar attempt, but nothing came of the advances.

Fox-Wizel made no comment.

In another development for the group, Newpan announced yesterday it had acquired 50 percent of the importing of electrical goods brands LG and JVC, which until now had been the exclusive domain of the Sakal group. Sakal and Newpan have set up a joint marketing venture to import and market these brands in Israel, the companies announced.

Senior sources in the sector added that Sakal, which imports such leading brands as Timberland, Keds and Ralph Lauren Polo, is also exploring the possibility of establishing other joint ventures with Newpan or to bring in another strategic partner for Sakal Sport, which deals with the import of these brands.

The sources believe that Golf, which lost the Levi Strauss representation in Israel, is interested in some of Sakal's contracts.

A spokeswoman for Sakal denied these reports, as did a spokesperson for Golf.

As reported this week in Haaretz, Sakal group has hired economist Dan Tahori to assist in its search for a strategic partner. Tahori is considered an associate of Nochi Dankner, and was instrumental in Supersol's recent takeover of Clubmarket. (Supersol is part of Dankner's IDB group).

Haaretz has also learned that Sakal Duty Free has stopped working with Delta Film, the importer of Kodak and Minolta. A spokeswoman for Sakal said yesterday: "Sakal has ceased working with Delta Film because the company did not meet Sakal's commercial conditions. Sakal has begun importing the Minolta brand independently because of the price differences.

"In addition to Minolta, Sakal Duty Free specializes in the marketing of such other leading brands as Sony, Canon, Fuji, Olympus, Kodak and others." She added that the company was examining the possibility of importing Kodak products directly too.

"Sakal Duty Free has a significant presence in the local camera scene with some 25 percent of the market," the spokeswoman continued, "and competes aggressively on price to make the photography field more accessible to the Israeli consumer."

A spokesperson for Delta Film said yesterday that the company "does not conduct discussions in the media on its commercial policies with various marketers."