Blue Square-Israel Ltd. (NYSE: BSI) and Amot Properties Ltd. have cancelled a previous agreement under which Blue Square was to buy one third of Amot for $65 million. Under the terms of the cancellation, Blue Square will pay Amot NIS 500,000, and Amot will return Blue Square’s NIS 6 million purchase bond (plus interest). Both parties have agreed to forego all legal claims which could potentially accompany the decision.
Commenting on the news, Mr. Yoram Dar, CEO and President of Blue Square, said, “This agreement is an important milestone in our `focus on food’ strategy which we continue to implement. As part of this strategy, we are divesting all businesses which are unrelated to our core supermarket chains. As such, it is our policy to deal in real estate only as necessary for the purpose of opening new stores and operating our business. Already this year, we demonstrated our commitment to this policy by divesting our share of Home Centers for NIS 98 million.
“Having adopted this policy, it became obvious that spending $65 million to purchase a large part of a real estate company was not appropriate. After almost a year of negotiation, this agreement brings the matter to a successful conclusion.”
Mr. Dar concluded, “We are very pleased with the results of our strategies during the last 12 months. Our efforts have delivered improved revenues and greatly improved margins. We are also gratified that last month’s dual-listing of our shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has resulted in a significant increase in the liquidity of our shares.”
Blue Square is a leading retailer in Israel. A pioneer of modern food retailing in the region. Blue Square currently operates 169 supermarkets under different formats, each offering varying levels of services and pricing. For more information, please refer to Blue Square’s website at www.coop.co.il.
The statements contained in this release which are not historical facts contain forward-looking information with respect to plans, projections, or future performance of the Company, the occurrence of which involve certain risks and uncertainties, including risk of market acceptance, the effect of economic conditions, the impact of competitive pricing, supply constraints, the effect of the Company’s accounting policies, as well as certain other risks and uncertainties which are detailed in the Company’s filings with the Security and Exchange Commission, particularly the prospect to its public offering in July, 1996.