Apax buys into Tnuva

Private equity investor Apax Partners is reported to have bought a stake in Israeli agri-foods business Tnuva. The Israeli firm’s CEO, Zehavit Cohen, is quoted in the Haaretz newspaper confirming the acquisition of a substantial stake in the business. A deal is likely to value co-operatively owned Tnuva at US$800m to US$1bn.

The report quotes Cohen saying: “Apax believes in the Israeli economy. We proved that when we bought control of Bezeq along with the Saban group and Mori Arkin. And we are proving it again today by buying the controlling interest in Tnuva.” Unconfirmed reports suggest Apax has taken a 51% stake in the business, which is currently co-operatively owned by Israeli kibbutzim and moshavim (farming collectives and co-operatives).

Tnuva has a 70% share of the Israeli dairy market accounting for about half its sales, which were US$1.4bn back in 2001.

In 2005, Apax was part of an investor group alongside Saban Capital Group and investor Mori Arkin that acquired a 40% stake in Bezeq Israel Telecommunications, the state owned telecoms services provider, for an estimated US$972m.