Sheldon Adelson in talks to buy Maariv

The offer is for all shares in Ma'ariv Holdings. Adelson plans to delist Ma'ariv from the TASE.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Sheldon Adelson is negotiating to buy Hebrew daily Maariv. Ofer Nimrodi is believed to have asked Adelson to make an offer for the newspaper, and the parties have reportedly exchanged preliminary documents.

The offer is for the all shares in Ma'ariv Holdings Ltd. (TASE: MARV), which is owned by the Nimrodi-controlled Israel Land Development Company (TASE: ILDC) with a 61.7% stake; Vladimir Gusinsky (27.2%), Ofer Nimrodi (1.1%), and the public (9.9%). If a deal is closed, Adelson plans to delist Maariv Holdings from the TASE.

Two weeks ago, Nimrodi also asked Arcadi Gaydamak to buy Maariv. On Friday, Hebrew-daily Yediot Ahronot correspondent Nahum Barnea reported that Gaydamak rejected Ofer Nimrodis proposal.

Gaydamak told Barnea, I didnt want to buy Maariv. They approached me; I didnt approach them. I would have two possible motives for buying a newspaper: either for the business, or to make a name for myself. Maariv isn't a good business, and my name is already known. So I told them that it didnt want to buy it.

Nimrodi is asking for a company value of $250 million for Maariv Holdings, a considerable premium over its $100 million market cap.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on October 30, 2006

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2006

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