British firm buys Tnuva for over $1 billion

The British-based Apax investment fund has bought a majority stake in Israel's premier agricultural produce firm, Tnuva, for more than $1 billion, Israeli media reported Tuesday. Tnuva has been the flagship of the Israeli kibbutz collective farm movement for eight decades. In recent years, the collective villages have fallen on hard times, and many are burdened by huge debts. Sale of Tnuva would help bail out the kibbutz villages. The Tnuva trademark is one of Israel's best known, appearing on many dairy products, and the company handles the marketing of most of the produce from Israel's agricultural sector. The reports said Apax plans to turn Tnuva into an international concern.