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Auction of Jewish Times publisher proposed for next week

Pending the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the publisher of the Baltimore Jewish Times and Style Magazine could be sold at auction next week.

Zvi Guttman, the trustee in the case, asked the court Wednesday to approve a sale schedule, which calls for all bids for Alter Communications Inc. to be submitted to him by Tuesday afternoon and for the sale to be conducted on the morning of Wednesday, March 28.

Objections to the proposed schedule are to be filed with the court by 10 a.m. Thursday. If there are none, Guttman said, the schedule is likely to be approved Thursday.

He said the auction location had not been determined.

"I'm trying to work that out," Guttman said. He added that the auction would not be held at Alter's offices, saying that would be "too disruptive."

Guttman's motion for approval of the schedule says that two bids have been received so far. The owners of Washington Jewish Week, submitting their bid as Route 95 Productions LLC, has offered $378,000. An investor group led by Scott Rifkin of Owings Mills, submitting its bid as Baltimore Community Publishing LLC, has offered $440,000.

Guttman's motion notes that both parties know their offers are "simply a floor" and are subject to competition from better offers through the bid process.

The winning bidder would be submitted to the court for its approval, Guttman's motion says.

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