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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tnuva’

Chinese Companies Invest in Israel

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

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.

PA Announces Total Ban on Major Israeli Products

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

The products of six of the biggest Israeli companies will now be absolutely barred in the territories currently under Palestinian control, a senior Palestinian Authority official declared on Monday, Feb. 9.

Mahmoud al-Aloul, who is a high-ranking member of the PA as well as a member of Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party Central Committee made the announcement at a press conference Monday evening, according to the Palestinian Arab news source Ma’an.

The Israeli companies banned under the latest dictate are the chocolate and candy company Elite, which is part of another banned Israeli company, the Strauss food and beverage company; Tnuva, which produces cheese and other dairy products; the beverage companies Prigat and Jafora (which includes Shweppes and RC Cola, in Israel); and Osem, which produces snacks and soups, as well as other food products. All of the companies are located within Green Line Israel.

The Arab retailers will be given two weeks to remove all the banned Israeli products from their shelves. Al-Aloul said special inspectors will be touring the markets to ensure compliance with the ruling. He said the decision to ban the Israeli products was a response to Israeli attempts to pressure the Palestinian Arabs “who are demanding their freedom and rights and have been punished collectively after they resorted to the U.N.”

Few people believe the boycott has any chance of success.

Done Deal: China’s Bright Food Buys Israel’s Tnuva

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

The Chinese government’s ‘Bright Food’ group inked the deal this morning (Thursday) to purchase Israel’s national dairy company, Tnuva, from Apax Partners for NIS 8.6 billion.  The Israeli government had no part in the deal.

Apax, which owns a 56 percent stake in the firm, will make a cool NIS 4 billion on the deal, and will not be required to pay any tax, according to a report posted on the Globes business news website.

The national kibbutz movement, which owns 23 percent of the company’s shares, did not sell. But Mivtach-Shamir Food Industries, which owns 21 percent of the company, is still negotiating, according to the report.

In a statement released to media, Bright Food said, “We are proud to acquire Tnuva. For us this is a long-term sound investment that will help Tnuva become a company that enters global markets. It is our intention to continue to keep Tnuva as an Israeli company and continue cooperating with all relevant local bodies including employees, farmers, and cattle farmers to faithfully serve the Israeli consumer.”

Under the terms of the deal, Tnuva’s CEO will be Israeli and its chairman of the board will be Chinese, from the Bright Food group. Its center of operations will remain in Israel as well.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been deeply invested in strengthening ties economically and diplomatically with China, and bilateral commercial ventures have risen over the past several years. Tourism projects between Israel and China has increased as well.

However, it is not clear what would happen if diplomatic relations between Israel and China were ever to falter, or if for some reason Israeli consumer regulations differed from those preferred by the Chinese food conglomerate.

The bottom line remains: What will happen to Tnuva — and by extension, to the Israeli dairy consumer — if relations between the two countries go sour?

Chinese Negotiating to Buy Dairy and Agriculture Giant Tnuva

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Negotiations over the sale of control stock in the Israeli Tnuva dairy and agricultural product giant have been moving forward in recent days, according to the daily Isarel Hayom. The company’s controlling shareholders—British investment firm Apax and Mivtach Shamir Food Industries Ltd.—appear interested in selling the Apax share in the company to the Chinese Bright Food Group.

According to sources close to the negotiations speaking to Israel Hayom, if the deal goes through it would be for between $2.4 and $2.7 billion. The deal is said to be on a positive track, but the Chinese are not planning to send representatives to Israel in the near future.

The Chinese did appoint local professional representatives to examine every aspect of the purchase.

Apax and Mivtach Shamir today control about 76.7 percent of Tnuva, while the rest of the shared are still owned by the 620 moshavim and kibbutzim that founded the Tnuva cooperative back in 1926. Tnuva is the largest dairy products manufacturer in Israel; its sales account for 70% of the country’s dairy market as well as sales of meat, eggs and packaged food.

Tnuva employs 6,630 workers.

Will Israeli Companies be Israeli in the Future?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Are we rapidly approaching the day when most Israeli mega food companies will not even be Israeli? Nestle already owns a sizable share of Osem and PepsiCo holds a major stake in Strauss.

Now comes word that China’s Bright Food Group is in talks to buy Tnuva Food Industries. Could you imagine an Israeli food company owned by a Chinese company?

It may indeed be the days of the Moshiach (Messiah). Bright Food has over 3,300 retail stores across China and is known in the country for its dairy and White Rabbit candy. It is on a global buying spree and has bought majority holdings in Australia’s Manassen Foods and UK cereal maker Weetabix.

Tnuva is Israel’s largest food company and according to controlling shareholder Apax Partners LLP, the company holds 14% of Israel’s food retail shelf space. Apax and investment partner Mivtach Shamir Food Industries Ltd. acquired a 77% stake in Tnuva for more than $1 billion in 2008. I can already see a session between the two companies where the Tnuva people are explaining their different kashrus standards.

But as usual, there are so many ways to look at this possible acquisition. One is that Israeli companies have been so successful in producing and marketing quality food that they have attracted international attention. It is a tribute to the Israelis that some of the largest and most powerful food conglomerates are looking to gain a piece of the action and apply some of the unique Israeli technology and success to their efforts worldwide.

Second is that the Israelis are securing an infusion of capital to further develop their economy.

So much for the positive. My question is how will Israelis feel when they eat the Chinese Leben or drink the milk at breakfast. Maybe they won’t feel anything so long as the products are good and kosher.

Israeli Company Sued over Cruelty to Kosher Slaughtered Animals

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Jerusalem District Court on Monday will hear arguments over the validity of a consumer class action suit against Tnuva Central Cooperative for the Marketing of Agricultural Produce in Israel Ltd., based on the claim that Tnuva misled consumers regarding the humane treatment of animals in its Beit She’an beef slaughterhouse and meat-packing plant, where its Adom Adom (“very red”) top quality brand is produced.

After a December 6, 2012 expose on Israeli TV consumer advocacy program “Colbotech” revealed some shocking details of the way animals are being treated in the Beit She’an slaughterhouse, a group of consumers, headed by a Haredi woman named Ruth Kolian, is looking to sue Tnuva for consumer anguish.

The issue at hand is whether the fact that the animals had undergone inhumane treatment in itself justifies a claim for monetary compensation for the plaintiffs, and whether it is sufficiently broad to justify a class action suit.

Tnuva, for its part, will be arguing that the very fact that the plaintiffs are essentially organized and represented by an organization called Anonymous for Animal Rights, which exposed the terrible violations at the Beit She’an plant in an effort to get it to close down, disqualifies them from adopting the stance of a cheated consumer.

Here are just some of the appalling conditions the Colbotech show exposed, the list is very long:

Calves were beaten and shocked repeatedly to urge them to march to slaughter.

Calves who had difficulty walking were shocked dozens of times in a row, in different parts of the body including the head and testicles. Those who still did not manage to walk were dragged on the floor by forklifts (the law in such cases says they should be killed on the spot).

Lambs were dragged on the ground by workers holding them by one leg (one employee was documented hauling two lambs at the same time).

Lambs were beaten repeatedly on their heads and bodies with a pipe, in order to encourage them to stand or walk, sometimes without any apparent reason.

Workers were documented stepping on lambs, lying down on them or riding them, throwing them in the air and catching them by the lambs’ mouths.

Calves were kept hanging upside down before slaughter for extended periods of time. An employee told an undercover investigator: “Today a live calf released itself, because of a worker’s blunder. It freed itself [from a conveyer belt to which it was attached hanging upside down by one leg] after it had already been butchered, it came to us still alive, it started to riot, nearly killed us. We fled. Finally they overcame it, with electric shockers. They beat it up until it calmed down ”

In many cases this Tnuva slaughterhouse’s meat was disqualified as traif because of bone fractures and other issues. The meat was marketed non-Jewish consumers.

It is interesting to note that while the plaintiffs never make the claim that it’s the halachic shechitah which is to blame for the terrible images the TV audience had viewed last winter—they blame Tnuva’s mismanagement—it is the corporation which, in effect, is making the anti shechitah case, suggesting it is impossible to slaughter an animal humanely.

The defense also provided a friend of the court note from Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Machpud, head of the Badatz kashrut system, who argues in very strong language against unnecessary cruelty to animals, stating that such action would entail the removal of the kosher certification.

Anonymous for Animal Rights has recruited potential plaintiffs for the district court case by defining them as “any person who has purchased … over the seven year period prior to the filing of this appeal, meat products produced by the brand ‘Adom Adom,’ and who, because of watching the investigation on Colbotech … has suffered emotional anguish and damage to their private autonomy.”

The suit is for 200 million Shekel (roughly $55 million).

The defense will argue that the law in Israel does not award damages to a person who suffered anguish from watching another person’s suffering (parents and their children, for example). How much less entitled are the plaintiffs, who were only affected by watching animals suffer.

But, of course, as Yossi Wolfson, an attorney for the plaintiffs, noted, the human-suffering is in relation to a third person, while here the consumer experienced the anguish directly.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/suit-over-israeli-corp-cruelty-to-kosher-slaughtered-animals/2013/05/20/

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