Steimatzky, Israel’s largest and oldest bookstore chain (it was founded in 1925), has just barely escaped bankruptcy. Arledan Investments, the owner of Keter Publishing House Ltd., bought the company yesterday from Markstone, the private equity group which had owned it since 2005, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Steimatzky, which controls the majority of Israel’s book market—alongside its competitor Tzomet Sfarim—had been losing tens of millions of shekels annually. The deal, whose value was not made public, comes on the heels of a rocky month for Steimatzky. A plan was reportedly in the works to sell the chain to Yediot Books, but it fell through. Shortly afterwards, Markstone injected money into the struggling chain to ensure book suppliers would be paid.
Now, according to Steimatzky’s CEO Iris Barel, Arledan will work to “consolidate the company’s position as the country’s leading bookseller and content provider, and will continue to develop its business in the coming years.”