ROSH HAAYIN, Israel, December 15, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Alon Holdings Blue Square-Israel Ltd. (NYSE: BSI) (hereinafter: "Alon Holdings") announced that it was served with a claim and a request for approval as a class action (the "Claim"), in which Alon Holdings is sued regarding the sale of various cheese and dairy products in its supermarket chains operated by its subsidiary (100%), Mega retail Ltd.
The plaintiff claims that the company sells in its supermarket various cheese and butter substitute products while presenting them as cheese products and butter and that the customers are mislead by the company's alleged representations regarding such products. The plaintiff filed a request that the claim will be approved as a class action representing all customers who bought such products in the seven years prior to the filing of the claim.
The plaintiff's personal claim is estimated by him at approx. NIS 700, and if the Claim is approved as a class action, the approximate claim is estimated by the plaintiff at approx. NIS 456 million.
Alon Holdings is currently reviewing the Claim and denying all above allegations, however, at this preliminary stage of the proceedings, it is unable to evaluate its likelihood of success in the proceedings, including the likelihood that the Claim will be certified as a class action.
Alon Holdings Blue Square- Israel Ltd. (hereinafter: "Alon Holdings") operates in three reporting segments: In its supermarket segment, Alon Holdings is the second largest food retailer in the State of Israel. As pioneer of modern food retailing in the region, Alon Holdings, through its 100% subsidiary, Mega Retail Ltd., currently operates 207 supermarkets under different formats, each offering a wide range of food products, "Near Food" products and "Non-Food" products at varying levels of service and pricing. In its "Non-Food" segment, Alon Holdings, through its 100% subsidiary Bee Group Retail Ltd., operates specialist outlets in self operation and franchises and offers a wide range of "Non-Food" products as retailer and wholesaler. In addition, Alon Holdings holds approximately 78.38% of Dor Alon, a subsidiary listed on the Tel Aviv stock exchange, one of the four largest petrol companies and a leader in the field of convenience stores. Dor Alon operates a chain of 186 petrol stations and 175 convenience stores in different formats in Israel. In its Real Estate segment, Alon Holdings, through its TASE traded 78.39% subsidiary Blue Square Real Estate Ltd., owns, leases and develops yield generating commercial properties.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, plans or projections about our business and our future revenues, expenses and profitability. Forward-looking statements may be, but are not necessarily, identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "anticipates," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes," and words and terms of similar substance. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events, results, performance, circumstance and achievements to be materially different from any future events, results, performance, circumstance and achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the effect of the recession in Israel on the sales in our stores and on our profitability; our ability to compete effectively against low-priced supermarkets and other competitors; quarterly fluctuations in our operating results that may cause volatility of our ADS and share price; risks associated with our dependence on a limited number of key suppliers for products that we sell in our stores; the effect of an increase in the minimum wage in Israel on our operating results; the effect of any actions taken by the Israeli Antitrust Authority on our ability to execute our business strategy and on our profitability; the effect of increases in oil, raw material and product prices in recent years; the effects of damage to our reputation or to the reputation of our store brands due to reports in the media or otherwise; and other risks, uncertainties and factors disclosed in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), including, but not limited to, risks, uncertainties and factors identified under the heading "Risk Factors" in our shelf offering report filed in Israel, portions of which were submitted to the SEC on Form 6-K on November 8, 2010. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Except for our ongoing obligations to disclose material information under the applicable securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this press release.
Contact: Alon Holdings Blue Square-Israel Ltd.
General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
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