What Nevzlin signed up for at "Haaretz"

Haaretz owner Amos Schocken tells "Globes" about the only ideological clause agreed by the paper's new shareholder.

Hebrew daily "Haaretz" announced yesterday that Leonid Nevzlin, a billionaire who made his fortune in the Russian oil industry, has become a shareholder in the company. Immediately after the announcement, Nevzlin's aides said that there was no ideological motive for the investment, and that it was just business.

Nonetheless, the fact that "Haaretz" has a clear and solid agenda is no secret, so why did Nevzlin make the commitment to Haaretz Group owner Amos Schocken?

In an interview to be published in full in "Globes" Firma supplement tomorrow, Schocken told "Globes" about a clause in the investment agreement - signed by Nevzlin, who will now own 20% of the company at a valuation of NIS 700 million. The clause is as the one that Schocken included in his earlier investment agreement with German publisher Media Group M. DuMont Schauberg GmbH & Co.:

"The editorial principles of "Haaretz" will be preserved"

  1. "Haaretz" is a Zionist newspaper that supports the existence and strengthening of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
  2. "Haaretz" will call for and support means to make Israel into an advanced country in education, science, and culture.
  3. "Haaretz" will strive to make Israel a modern state as possible in terms of human rights.
  4. "Haaretz" will oppose all kinds of coercion, including religious coercion.
  5. "Haaretz" will support the rights of the individual to personal freedom, including economic and business freedom, in the context of a free market.
  6. "Haaretz" will support efforts to achieve peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

    According to Schocken, Nevzlin did not ask for any editorial involvement. "The importance of the measure is as we stated," he says, "strengthening the ability of 'Haaretz' to fulfill its role in Israeli society, and to provide a worthwhile service to readers and advertisers."

    "Globes": You said that the investment was made after a year of talks. What finally accelerated the deal and its implementation?

    Schocken: "The deal was not rushed. It was the culmination of a process that moved forward in structured stages agreed on between us and Nevzlin until the final agreement."

    Is this the last move that we can expect to see in control of the paper?

    "In the foreseeable future, I think so, but I am told that there is a short line of additional interested persons by the entrance door to the building."

    Do you consider this as a rescue for the paper?

    "The answer to your question is found in the valuation of the deal."

    Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 13, 2011

    © Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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