Trustees Annul Tender of Israeli Food Retailer, Saying Bids Too Low

'We want to get offers in the hundreds of millions of shekels, but we’re still not there.'

Ofer Vaknin

In a surprise announcement late on Monday, the trustees overseeing the sale of the Mega supermarket chain said they were annulling the tender because none of the bids submitted were high enough.

“We’re not calling the tender but we’re also in no hurry,” Ehud Gindes, who along with Gabi Trabelsi is managing the sale for the court, told TheMarker on Tuesday.  “The company is in stable condition and functioning and the offers we received were insufficient for a mess of pottage.”

Discount supermarket chain Rami Levy offered no more than 120 million shekels ($31.2 million), the lowest of the three bidders. Bikurey Hasade – Israel’s largest fresh produce wholesaler – and meat-packing company Oz Chicken offered 150 million, but the trustees said they weren’t confident the bid is serious.

A third bid by 13 small and medium-sized supermarket chains was to buy 77 of Mega’s 127 stores for 140 million shekels, but the group didn’t provide the 40 million shekels in guarantees required under the terms of the sale.

“We want to get offers in the hundreds of millions of shekels, but we’re still not there. In a more measured process we’ll get better results,” Gindes said.

Once Israel’s second-biggest supermarket chain, Mega has been under court protection from creditors for more than two months, but Gindes said it was faring well now. “True, the health of a business depends on having an owner, but right now we have our hand on the wheel and don’t feel there’s any hurry,” he said.