Once one of Israel's wealthiest people, Eliezer Fishman is now bankrupt.
Tel Aviv District Court president Judge Eitan Orenstein today declared Eliezer Fishman bankrupt because of debts amounting to billions of shekels. "No one disputes that the conditions for declaring the debtor bankrupt have been fulfilled, as required under the provisions of the Bankruptcy Ordinance. The debtor committed an act of bankruptcy by not paying his debt, as required by a bankruptcy notice. In addition, his debt is enormous, and he admits that after his assets are sold, he will still owe NIS 1.5 billion," Orenstein stated.
Orenstein explained that the proceeding had two main purposes. One is to assemble all of Fishman's assets, sell them, and divide the proceeds equally among Fishman's creditors according to the seniority of the debt. The other is to enable the debtor in difficulties to open a new chapter in his life. The judge noted that all of Fishman's creditors supported having him declared bankrupt, as did the official receiver, and that Fishman did not oppose it.
In his ruling, Orenstein did not ignore Fishman's argument that special manager Advocate Joseph Benkel and the creditors should be ordered to respond to the debt arrangement format that Benkel had reached with Fishman, an arrangement that did not materialize because of unanimous opposition by the creditor banks. "I nevertheless believe that this is not sufficient reason to delay the bankruptcy declaration," Orenstein ruled.
Orenstein appointed Benkel trustee for Fishman's assets in the bankruptcy proceeding. This means that Benkel is authorized to seize all of Fishman's property, locate it, and sell it for benefit of the creditors' fund. The judge ordered Benkel to submit an up-to-date report to him by July 11.
All of Fishman's creditors - Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI), Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI), Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT), Mercantile Discount Bank, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank (TASE:MZTF), Union Bank of Israel (TASE: UNON), and the Israel Tax Authority - supported declaring Fishman bankrupt and appointing Benkel as trustee for the proceeding.
Publication of the Fishman debt arrangement aroused a storm among the public and in the media, following which the banks rescinded their plan to support the arrangement, and the Fishman case moved towards a bankruptcy proceeding.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on June 21, 2017
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