Mexican group purchased 80% of Israel’s world-leading micro-irrigation firm, active in 30 countries, with a $855 million turnover in 2016
• Following PM Netanyahu’s recent visit to Africa, Netafim expected to expand into a dozen African markets.
By Zeev Klein & AFP
Mexican group Mexichem is to buy 80% of Israel’s world-leading micro-irrigation firm Netafim for $1.5 billion, the Israeli company announced on Monday.
Founded in 1965, Netafim specializes in water-saving “smart drip” and micro-irrigation systems for agriculture. Netafim is active in 30 countries, owns 17 production plants, employs 4,300 people, and sells its products in more than 100 countries. Its turnover last year was $855 million.
In the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Africa, where he discussed future business ventures with African leaders, Netafim is expected soon to establish a significant presence in the African markets of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland.
Mexichem, which specializes in plastics, chemicals and petrochemicals, had a turnover last year of $5.4 billion.
Under the deal, the two firms agreed to maintain Netafim’s base of operations, production, research and development facilities in Israel for at least 20 years.
The Permira investment fund will sell its 61% stake in Netafim.
The two other main shareholders, Kibbutz Hatzerim and Magal, will also sell a portion of their stakes, the Netafim statement said.
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