Business in Brief

Tzomet Sfarim eyes acquisition of Office Depot

The book retail chain Tzomet Sfarim is interested in buying the bankrupt operations of Office Depot Israel, the latter company's court appointed managers said yesterday. Eight months ago, the franchise was sold to Avi Malka and his brother Miran, but in a ruling on Friday, the Lod District Court issued a preliminary stay of proceedings at the request of trustees who claim that Avi Malka had failed to meet payments on the purchase. Since Friday, the stores have been closed. (Yasmin Gueta)

Magisto raises $13m in third round of funding

The social video startup Magisto said yesterday it had raised $13 million in a third round of investment led by Qualcomm Ventures. Qualcomm was joined by existing investors Magma Venture Partners and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, as well as new investor SanDisk Ventures. The company's mobile app, which enables smartphone users to automatically edit video clips, has been downloaded 14 million times. Video created with the app can be shared instantaneously through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and email.(Orr Hirschauge)

Treasury forgets NIS 536m budget item for gov't building

The Finance Ministry forgot to include in the state budget a NIS 536 million expense item for a government building to be erected in Jerusalem, the accountant general told the Knesset Finance Committee yesterday. The new building is slated for the government complex in Givat Ram. The committee members approved the treasury's request to authorize the provision for 22 years of rental payments to allow the state to sign a contract for the building's construction. (Zvi Zrahiya)

Tzomet Sfarim book chain interested in purchasing local Office Depot franchise
Israeli book retail chain Tzomet Sfarim is interested in buying the bankrupt operations of the local Office Depot franchise, the latter company's court appointed managers announced on Tuesday. Eight months ago, the franchise was sold to Avi Malka and his brother Miran. But in a ruling on Friday, the Lod District Court issued a preliminary stay of proceedings at the request of trustees who claim that Avi Malka had failed to meet his payment obligations on the purchase. Since Friday, the franchise's stores have been closed. (Yasmin Gueta)

Startup Magisto raises $13m in third round of funding

Israeli social video startup Magisto announced Tuesday afternoon that it had raised $13 million in a third round of investment. The company's mobile app enables automatic editing of video clips for smartphone users and has been downloaded 14 million times. App users can also select music to create a video soundtrack. Video created with the app can be shared instantaneously through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and email. The current round of funding was led by Qualcomm Ventures and was joined by existing investors Magma Venture Partners and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, as well as new investor SanDisk Ventures. (Orr Hirschauge)

Finance Ministry forgets NIS 536 million budget provision for gov't building

The Finance Ministry forgot to include in the state budget a provision for future liabilities of NIS 536 million for a planned government building to be erected in Jerusalem, the accountant general department told the Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday. The new building is to be constructed in Jerusalem's government complex in Givat Ram by the company Shikun & Binui. The committee members approved the treasury's request to authorize the provision for 22 years of rental payments to allow the state to sign a contract for the building's construction. (Zvi Zrahiya)

Court orders Israel Airports Authority to pay Bezalel Academy NIS 480,000

The Israel Airports Authority must pay the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design NIS 480,000 in compensation for failure to honor a contract for art consulting, the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court ruled on Tuesday. The contract was part of a deal arranged with the IAA in 2006 to allow the school to rent space to hold an exhibition in Ben-Gurion International Airport's then empty Terminal 1 to commemorate the school's founding 100 years earlier. The IAA offered Bezalel use of Terminal 1 for three and a half months for NIS 800,000. However, because the school could only afford to pay NIS 300,000, the IAA proposed hiring Bezalel to provide art consulting services to it for NIS 96,000 for five years. Bezalel could then use the NIS 480,000 in resulting revenue to cover the cost of the exhibition contract. However, after the IAA made the first payment for consulting services it cancelled the contract, leading to Bezalel to file a lawsuit. (Zohar Blumenkrantz)