Israel Hayom and Jerusalem Post Throw in Bids for Right-wing Paper Makor Rishon

Israel Hayom, with a big market share, would need the approval of the antitrust authority.

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Newspaper printing pressCredit: Bloomberg

Both Israel Hayom and The Jerusalem Post submitted bids on Monday to buy the right-of-center weekly Makor Rishon, now under court protection from its creditors.

The two offers were among four made by the Monday deadline set by the Jerusalem District Court, which is overseeing the sale of Miskor Rishon, the Maariv daily and its NRG website, all of which are controlled by Shlomo Ben-Tzvi.

Makor Rishon’s CEO, Udi Rajones, also submitted a bid for the weekly in the name of Ben-Tzvi, and a fourth bid was made by Ashdir, an advertising firm and publisher of Shabbat handouts.

Israel Hayom, a give-away daily published by the American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, offered to buy NRG as well as the weekly. The Jerusalem Post’s publisher, Eli Azur, offered to buy all three properties, though he is reportedly only interested in Makor Rishon.

Israel Hayom faces the biggest obstacle to buying the weekly because its big share of the newspaper market would require it to win approval from the antitrust authority. Chen Berdichev, the trustee overseeing the sale, will recommend a buyer or buyers to the court later this week.

If no buyer emerges for Maariv, it will probably be closed.