Despite flap over BDS, Ahava finds Chinese buyer

Dead Sea cosmetics company valued at NIS 300m.

September 2, 2015 19:14
1 minute read.

A balloon with the phrase "Boycott to Israel" is seen during a Euroleague basketball game between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Barcelona in Barcelona . (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israelis who were upset that their beloved cottage cheese producer Tnuva was acquired by a Chinese firm may be in for another shock.

Chinese investment firm Fosun is reportedly ready to acquire another nationally recognized company: Dead Sea cosmetics manufacturer Ahava.

On Tuesday evening, Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories shareholder B. Gaon Holdings Ltd. informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that Ahava had reached a deal with a buyer that valued the lotion-manufacturer at NIS 300 million.

Ahava has been the subject of efforts by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for its activities at Mitzpe Shalem, a kibbutz in the West Bank.

In June, The Jerusalem Post reported that Ahava was considering relocating its factory.

Though the notice did not specify the buyer, Israeli media speculated that it was likely Fosun, the group that bought up a controlling share in the Givatayim-based Phoenix Insurance Company in June.

“Israel is a highly attractive market that complements Fosun’s global expansion strategy,” Fosun wrote in a statement at the time, though as of press time on Wednesday it had released no such statements on Ahava.

The company also bought Israeli medical and cosmetic energy-based device manufacturer Alma Lasers in 2013.

Gaon, which controls 15.7 percent of Ahava, said the buyer would control more than 51% of the company.

Other current stakeholders include the Shamrock Israel Growth Fund; the Livnat family, a controlling owner of the IDB group; and Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem. The remaining shareholders would be protected by a deal to be negotiated with the buyer, which could be used to protect the company’s management and structure.

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