Orenstein approved Leumi’s disposition of Fishman’s holdings in Globes, Calcalist

The President of Tel Aviv District Court approved the Bank’s application to foreclose its liens over Monitin, which owns the controlling interest in Globes. Advocates Eyal Rosovsky and Ronen Matry were appointed as receivers to foreclose the liens; concurrently, Union Bank of Israel seeks to foreclose liens in the amount of 215 million shekels

05.10.16| Zohar Shachar Levy

The District Court in Tel Aviv has appointed receivers to enforce Eliezer Fishman’s liens in favor of Bank Leumi. The judgement handed down by Judge Eitan Orenstein, rules that 57.46% of the share capital of Monitin Press, which owns the controlling interest in the newspaper “Globes”, will be transferred to the receivers for disposition.

Last week, at the end of a hearing before Judge Orenstein, Fishman was given an extension of 60 days in order to reach a composition with his creditors, as part of bankruptcy proceedings launched by the Income Tax Authority in light of a debt to it of approximately 196 million shekels.

Other creditors joined the bankruptcy proceedings, including Bank Hapoalim, which claims a debt of 1.8 billion shekels; Bank Leumi, which claims a debt of 1.2 billion shekels; and Mizrahi Bank to which the debt is of approximately 281 million shekels. In total, according to the creditors, Fishman’s debts amount to more than 5 billion shekels.

In response to the application to have him declared bankrupt, Fishman, who is represented by Adv. Shalom (Shuli) Goldblatt, proposed a mediation proceeding for disposition of his holdings and assets. Accordingly he asked for – and received – an extension of 60 days in order to formulate an arrangement.

Concurrently with the bankruptcy proceeding, Bank Leumi filed an application to foreclose the liens provided by Fishman to secure debts of companies under his ownership. The Bank asked to appoint Advs. Eyal Rosovsky and Ronen Matry as receivers on its behalf as, according to the Bank, the companies had not met their obligations to the Bank, thus giving cause to foreclose the liens and repay the bonds.

The pledged assets are 57.46% of the share capital of Monitin Press, which holds the controlling interest in the newspaper Globes. On behalf of the companies, as well as on behalf of Fishman, a response was filed with the Court, from which it transpired that they do not object to the application.

In the decision handed down by Judge Orenstein, the Bank’s position was accepted, and Advs. Rosovsky and Matry were appointed as receivers to foreclose the liens. In this capacity, the receivers will take steps to foreclose the liens and will publish an invitation to submit bids for their sale, in a bidding contest that will be subject to approval by the court.

In another proceeding filed on the eve of the holiday, Union Bank also seeks to foreclose liens in its favor for debts of Fishman and the companies he owns amounting to 215 million shekels.

The application, filed by Adv. Assaf Englard of law firm Hamburger Evron & Co. with the Tel Aviv District Court, states that it is being filed “in light of the collapse and insolvency” which Fishman and the companies face, and “their inability to meet their obligations to the Bank and repay their debts”. Unless a receiver is appointed and the liens are enforced, so it states, irreparable harm will be caused to the assets pledged to the Bank.

The source of the debt, according to the Bank, is loans and credit extended to the companies Fishman Management and Kedai Financial Consultants, both of them companies under Fishman’s control. Additionally, the Bank also extended loans to Fishman personally. It was further stated that Fishman, who heads the group, personally guarantees all of the companies’ liabilities to the bank.

“Under these circumstances”, says the application, “and at a time when both the debtors and the pledging companies have fallen into insolvency and are all, as the entire Fishman Group, on the precipice of collapse and beyond, urgent and immediate action is required in order to protect the property interests of the Bank by way of appointing a receiver on behalf of the Bank”. As receiver on its behalf, the Bank proposes the appointment of Adv. Englard.