Business in Brief

Willi Food ask sto quit Dankner-Granovsky group IDB bid

The investor group led by Nochi Dankner and Ukrainian businessman Alexander Granovsky to bid for control of a restructured IDB Holding Corporation appears to be unravelling. Willi Food, a food importer, asked the court trustee overseeing IDB  yesterday to return the money it had deposited into an escrow account for the bid. Although the rival Elsztain-Ben-Moshe group is poised to take control of the conglomerate, a spokesman for Granovsky said the group still stood by their restructuring proposal and were waiting for a final decision by Tel Aviv District Court Judge Eitan Orenstein. (Shelly Appelberg)

PR man Rani Rahav will no longer represent IDB group

Public relations man Rani Rahav said yesterday that he would no longer be representing the IDB group or its former controlling shareholder Nochi Dankner. Rahav said his departure was due to a decision by the company’s audit committee to end all contracts with outside media consultants who provided services to both the company and Dankner in his role as chairman. Rahav said that despite the end to their professional relationship his love for Dankner was “unquestionable.” (Shelly Appelberg)

Housing minister promises land for 40,000 housing starts in 2014

Land for more than 40,000 new housing units will be put up for sale by the government in 2014, Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel told the Knesset on Wednesday. Ariel said the Housing Ministry had raised the number of housing starts in its 2014 work plan to 45,000, up from a previous target of 35,000. That will mean an increase from last year when the number reached an estimated 40,000, he said. Ariel made the promise as the Knesset approved the first reading of a bill by MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnuah) requiring property developers to provide a bank guarantee to home owners who have agreed to vacate their homes under urban renewal programs known as Pinui U’Binui. (Zvi Zrahiya)

J Media Group opens Israeli office

The J Media Group, an advertising and media company targeting English-speaking Jews worldwide, said it opened an office in Israel as part of its plans to expand into the print media advertising market. The company, which claims revenues of several million dollars annually and says it is growing 50% a year, said its Israel operations would be managed by Amanda Kuperman, who previously served as vice president of marketing and sales at the Jerusalem Post Group. She will be supervised by Managing Partner Danny Gewirtz. The company specializes in direct email marketing, using a database of more than two million personal email addresses belonging to Jews around the world. JMG also manages foreign advertising for 50 Israeli websites, including the news site Haaretz.com. (Nati Tucker)