Tnuva milk bags 298.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Antitrust Authority has opened an investigation against Tnuva Food
Industries. Chairwoman Zehavit Cohen and CEO Arik Shor were to be questioned
Sunday on suspicion of not providing full information requested. Not providing
information or concealing information requested by the Antitrust Authority are
Antitrust Authority investigators raided Tnuva’s offices
As part of the authority’s investigation into the dairy
market, it asked Tnuva and other dairy companies for information. Tnuva provided
information, but the authority concluded that Tnuva was concealing information
and that it had not provided everything demanded. Antitrust Authority
investigators confiscated documents and apparently intend to question senior
Tnuva executives under caution.
Also Sunday, Tel Aviv District Court
Judge Avi Zamir opened a hearing on a petition by Tnuva shareholder Mivtach
Shamir Holdings to open Tnuva’s books. The case comes two months after the
collapse of the sale of Mivtach Shamir’s Tnuva stake to Bank Leumi unit Leumi
Mivtach Shamir owns 20.7 percent of Tnuva through 27% of a
special purpose vehicle; Apax Partners owns the other 73%, giving it a 56.1%
stake in Tnuva. Kibbutzim own the remaining 23.3%. Mivtach Shamir was asking NIS
775 million for its holding.
Until Mivtach Shamir sells its Tnuva
holding, its shares are blocked from trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange,
after the Israel Securities Authority suspended trading in May 2010 because of
the non-disclosure of Tnuva’s financial reports. The Security Authority states
that the Tnuva holding is a material holding of Mivtach Shamir, which must
therefore publish Tnuva’s results.
Apax Partners Israel, a private equity
fund, refuses to disclose information about its investments.
Apax’s attorney whether he had agreed not to disclose Tnuva’s financial reports,
except in case of an IPO, Mivtach Shamir CEO Meir Shamir said, “Yes.”
added, “Obviously, it is important to Apax that Tnuva’s financial reports are
not published, but that is of no importance to Mivtach Shamir. [Apax
Israel CEO] Zehavit Cohen said at the time that Apax was a private equity fund,
which was why it wanted to keep this information confidential.”
said that Apax had threatened to sue Mivtach Shamir. “We did everything we could
to solve this problem, when we were threatened that if we demanded a solution
that involved disclose of the information, we’d be sued.”