Updated 11am, Wednesday 10 August.
Kislev Group, a forwarding and logistics specialist based in the central Israeli city of Lod, has emerged as the front-runner in a two-horse race to acquire Israel's troubled fresh produce exporter Agrexco, local radio reports have suggested.
A bid understood to have been submitted by Kislev Forwarding and Customs Clearing Ltd, will be considered alongside that of one other formal offer, from Dutch private equity fund Vertical Capital Group during a special legal hearing at the Tel Aviv Distrcit Court on Thursday, 11 August to decide Agrexco's fate.
Two major European fresh produce companies, Univeg and Total Produce, were reportedly among a number of potential suitors for Agrexco but are understood not to have tabled official bids.
Company trustee Shlomo Nass, who is overseeing the sale of the group, told Israeli financial website Calcalist that the process of finding a buyer had been delayed because of apparent uncertainty among prospective buyers over commitments among growers to supply fruit, vegetables and flowers through Agrexco in the future.
With only one formal bid submitted for the company by an earlier deadline of 26 July, the Tel Aviv District Court had allowed for a further postponement in order to allow Agrexco to find other potential bidders.
However, it remains unclear how many of Agrexco's existing suppliers have committed to supplying the group during the coming months and years.