Group Led by Dan Senor to Ask Court to Intervene on Bidding for Globes

Move planned after receivers reject group’s bid and recommend selling financial daily to Russian oligarch David Davidovich

Dan Senor in 2012: As senior national security aide to U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks to the press en route to Israel from London, July 28, 2012.
REUTERS

The investment group led by Dan Senor, coauthor of the best-seller “Startup Nation,” will ask the court overseeing the sale of Globes to consider its bid for the financial daily, a day after receivers recommended selling it to another bidder.

The New Media group, which made what appeared to be a last-minute 52 million-shekel ($13.6 million) offer for Globes, has in fact been pursuing the newspaper for several months. The bid, which New Media said was preliminary and based on its conducting due diligence of the newspaper’s finances, was rejected by the receivers in favor of a 45-million-shekel offer made by Russian oligarch David Davidovich.

The New Media group plans to tell the court that the receivers, attorneys Eyal Rosovsky and Ronen Matry, allegedly places obstacles to prevent the group from obtaining all the financial information it needed to make a final offer.

The group, which in addition to Senor, includes other members who have not been identified, first raised the possibility of an offer of as much as $15 million for Globes in August, when the newspaper was still controlled by the indebted tycoon Eliezer Fishman through a holding company he controlled called Monitin.

The talks were broken off when Monitin and other Fishman assets were put into receivership. In November the group informed the receivers it was interested in resuming talks. At the start of the month the two sides met at a Bank Leumi branch in London, where the Senor group asked to conduct a due diligence process.

The group said it asked for additional information, and the receivers responded by saying New Media would have to sign a non-disclosure agreement to see it. The group, however, objected to the NDA’s terms. Only 23 days later, and just six days before the deadline to submit bids for Globes, the receivers adjusted the NDA terms.

However, New Media contends that even after the deadline for submitting bids was extended, they were not given enough time to complete the due diligence and that when they did enter the data room to inspect documents some critical information was still missing.

Despite that, Rosovsky and Matry told the court on Sunday that the group’s bid wasn’t serious and shouldn’t be entertained.

Little is known about New Media, apart that it was formed to invest in media properties in the United States and Israel. It claims to have the capital to buy Globes, although it won’t say who its backers are.

Sources say they do not include either Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and backer of the giveaway daily Israel Hayom, or Paul Singer, a hedge fund investor to whom Senor is close.

Nevertheless, industry sources say New Media has a political as well as business interest in buying Globes. Senor himself has stated he sees the newspaper, a rival to TheMarker, as serving as the voice of Israeli business globally.

Senor himself is closely identified with the Republican Party – he served as an advisor to Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election and is believed to be close to Netanyahu and his former adviser Ari Harrow .