A solution has been found to allow the Habima Theater, Israel's national theater, to continue operating in the near term. The trustees appointed by the Tel Aviv District Court, Adv. Dorit Levy Tyller and Chen Berdichev CPA, informed the court's president, Judge Eitan Orenstein, yesterday evening that they had reached agreement with the state on a plan that would enable the heater to continue to operate during the period of the stay of proceedings that began last week.
According to the trustees' announcement, which is still subject to approval by Orenstein, who is scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter this morning, under the agreement the Ministry of Finance will transfer NIS 2 million to Habima as the first tranche of the regular state support due to the theater for 2019.
Last week, the trustees said that the state had undertook to transfer a larger amount, but in their latest statement they acknowledge that before the stay of proceedings commenced, the state transferred the amount covering discounts to senior citizens for purchases of tickets in the first quarter of 2020.
The trustees' statement also says that a sum of NIS 2.5 million, the balance of the amount that the theater is entitled to as regular state support, will be transferred only at the beginning of 2020, and only if Judge Orenstein decides that there is a chance of rehabilitating the theater, which among other things will be subject to certification of proper management in 2019 by the registrar of non-profit organizations.
In addition, the state and the trustees agreed that the cash transferred to the theater "will be used by the trustees as a last resort, after they have exhausted all the theater's other sources of cash for covering day-to-day expenses," and that the recovery plan that the trustees are due to present "will be formulated with the consent of the institutions of the state."
Last week, Judge Orenstein approved the agreement that the trustees reached with the Tnufa Litzmiha (Momentum for Growth) fund of the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) for a loan of NIS 2.5 million to enable the theater to pay the salaries of its 440 employees.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 1, 2019
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