Nitsba to compensate Egged members by two million shekels in respect of income from rental of assets

Egged's Pension Fund and Bus Terminals operator Nitsba held ownership of the central bus stations in Acre and Eilat - According to the Pension Fund, over many years Nitsba and Bus Terminals had not paid it its share of profits from the properties in the stations

16.11.15| Shlomit Tsur

A recent arbitration ruling of retired judge Yaakov Shimoni rules that Nitsba and its subsidiary company (Bus Terminals) are to compensate the Pension Fund of Egged members (which is under member management) by more than two million shekels, in respect of rental amounts they collected from joint assets in the Acre and Eilat central bus stations.

The Egged Pension Fund and Bus Terminals held joint ownership of the central bus stations in Acre and Eilat. By agreement, these assets were managed by Nitsba, which was supposed to distribute the profits in respect of management of said central bus stations between the partners. However, according to the Pension Fund, for many years Nitsba and Bus Terminals did not pay it its share of the profits in question. As a result, the Pension Fund filed an arbitration claim through attorney Ori Primo of law firm Hamburger Evron.

In its statement of defense, Nitsba and its subsidiary company claimed that the Pension Fund is not entitled to any payment whatsoever as it is in fact in debt to them. They claim that Egged, which rents offices in Rimonim House in Jerusalem, which is jointly owned by Nitsba and the Pension Fund, signed an agreement in the early years of the century to move its premises to offices at the Jerusalem central bus station, which is owned by Amot and Nitsba. In the end, so they claim, it was agreed that the move would not take place, and that Egged would continue to rent offices in Rimonim House but, in parallel, Egged and the Pension Fund would compensate the owners of the offices at the new central bus station for loss of revenue.

Arbitrator Shimoni rejected the claims of Nitsba and Bus Terminals, and ruled that "the defendants did not even lay the minimal foundation required to prove there was a binding agreement on the part of the plaintiff to participate in payment of the compensation as alleged."

The arbitrator further ruled that affidavits filed by Eric Feldman and the late Meir Turgerman, heads of Egged in the past, failed to prove the defendants' claims.

As a result, most of the claim was accepted, and it was ruled that Nitsba and Bus Terminals should pay the Egged Pension Fund a sum of 2 million shekels, with the addition of attorneys' fees of 120 thousand shekels plus VAT, for profits from the Acre and Eilat central bus stations.