A myriad Chinese firms are continuing their quest to invest in Israel, with major companies on the prowl to purchase anything for sale. As soon as a promising Israeli company appears on the block, well-heeled Chinese firms look it over. Several have already been snapped up.
Last month the Chinese government’s Bright Food Group officially signed an agreement with Israel’s Apax Partners to purchase a 56 percent stake in Tnuva Food Industries.
Mivtach-Shamir Food Industries Ltd., which owns 21 percent in the company, is still in talks to decide whether to sell to Bright Food. The kibbutz movement, which owns a 23 percent stake in Tnuva, has decided to stay out of the deal. Any side that pulls out before completion is required to pay NIS 140 million in compensation to the other party.
The dairy giant’s center of operations is to remain in Israel, according to the agreement, including its management, production and development, Globes reported. While a representative of Bright Food will serve as chairman of the Board of Directors, most of the board, as well as the CEO, management and most of the board itself is to remain Israeli as well.
“It is our intention to continue to keep Tnuva as an Israeli company,” Bright Food said in a statement, “and continue cooperating with all relevant local bodies including employees, farmers, and cattle farmers to faithfully serve the Israeli consumer.” The deal is expected to reach completion within weeks.
Meanwhile, there are seven contenders for a major Israeli insurance company – and three of them are Chinese.
The sale of the controlling interest in the IDB Development insurance unit of Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd. is set for mid-July. The sale requires submission of non-binding bids, which are to follow the signing of a confidentiality agreement. All seven contenders have already completed the latter requirement, which means the sale appears to be galloping along.
The firms from China include:
- Chinese-European private equity fund XIO – which recently acquired the Israeli Lumenis Ltd. Firm;
- Chinese insurance giant China Life; and
- Chinese group JT Capital, headed by Li Haifeng, who has now combined forces with an unnamed Chinese insurance company.
A binding agreement was also signed yesterday (June 21) in the sale of the controlling interest in The Phoenix Holdings Ltd., owned by the Delek Group, Ltd.
That NIS 1.8 billion deal included a nine percent discount on the original value, agreed upon with Chinese investment company Fosun International Ltd.