Inside Dan Senor’s Bid for Globes

Over the past few weeks, reports and rumors have been swirling on both sides of the Atlantic about Dan Senor’s $13.6 million bid for the Globes newspaper. Senor submitted the bid after owner Eliezer Fishman’s assets entered bankruptcy proceedings. According to a report last week in Globes itself, “the bid to acquire ‘Globes’ is not related to American-Jewish billionaire Paul Singer. Senor wants to buy ‘Globes’ with his own money, and is not serving as a front for anybody.” Senor has said publicly — as recently as October to a group of entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv — that Israel deserves a world-class business newspaper, on par with the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.

Also last week, Haaretz reported that Senor’s New Media Group (the investment vehicle Senor formed to acquire media assets) “asked the court overseeing the sale of Globes to consider its bid for the financial daily, a day after receivers recommended selling it to another bidder. The New Media group, which made what appeared to be a last-minute 52­ million-shekel ($13.6 million) offer for Globes, has in fact been pursuing the newspaper for several months. The bid, which New Media said was preliminary and based on its conducting due diligence of the newspaper’s finances, was rejected by the receivers in favor of a 45-million-shekel offer made by Russian oligarch David Davidovich.”

Sources briefed on the matter tell us that over the past six months Senor assembled a team that includes KPMG’s Tel Aviv office and the Tel Aviv law firm Herzog Fox, to conduct financial and legal due diligence, respectively, on Globes; and a separate media business strategy team led by Andrew Perlmutter to explore opportunities for growing Globes. Perlmutter was a key player in turning around the Boston Globe, The Daily Beast, and launching Quartz for The Atlantic.

We’re told Senor first met with the Fishman family in Tel Aviv to explore a purchase, before the family’s business empire went into bankruptcy. After the receivers were appointed, Senor flew from the U.S. to London, and the receivers flew from Israel to London, to meet face-to-face on November 1 to discuss Senor’s bid. According to those familiar with the discussions, Senor was very clear that to make a binding bid, he would need to complete basic due diligence, but he argued that information he needed was being held back by the receivers.

Only in recent days have the receivers begun to provide Senor the information he requested, but the window for receiving all of the data and evaluating it is now very short. In the meantime, as recently as last week, Senor met with the company’s employees via phone and video conferences — including journalists, administrative personnel, and print facility employees — and we’re told they were ‘enthusiastic’ about Senor’s bid and his vision for Globes as a top-notch financial and tech news organization.

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