State to Demand Money Back From Gibor Sport

The Gibor Sport group may have to return state grants and forgo tax benefits after selling Gibor Sport Active Wear to the Delta Galil group.

The Investments Encouragement Center at the Industry and Trade Meeting will be discussing the sale and its ramifications at its next meeting.

Delta Galil is buying Gibor Sport Active Wear, located in the northern border town of Kiryat Shmona, for NIS 23.5 million. The deal does not require Delta to continue employing Gibor Sport Active Wear's workers, almost all of whom will apparently be fired. About 50 will be retained for up to a year. Delta Galil's plan is to merge the bare-bones production of Gibor Sport Active Wear with its socks production activity.

Gibor Sport is owned by Roy Gill and Eitan Eldar, who have been making headlines for their bid to join the group controlling Emblaze and replace the management and board of directors. The board at the cellular technology company, however, is fighting back, claiming that based on their business record, they shouldn't be sitting on the board.

"They [Gibor Sport] didn't even tell the Investments Center about the sale, which violates the terms of the [benefits] they received," said a high-ranking source at the ministry. "This isn't a struggling company cutting workers here or there in order to survive. This is an outright sale. I therefore think it's proper to demand restitution of all grants and tax benefits, if they received any."

Support from the Investments Center is based on the recipient company's business plan, including an undertaking to meet certain export and employment goals. Firing all the staff doesn't meet those criteria and constitutes grounds for the state to demand its money back.