China's Bright Food to buy 56% in Israel's largest food company Tnuva

China's Bright Food Group Co Ltd today signed a preliminary agreement to buy a controlling 56 per cent stake in Israel's largest food company Tnuva from London-based private equity firm Apax Partners.

Bright Food did not reveal the financial terms of the proposed transaction, but Israeli media reports said that the deal values Tnuva at $2.5 billion.

Apax and Israeli investment company Mivtach Shamir Holdings had acquired a majority stake in Tnuva in 2008 in a deal valuing the company at $990 million.

Mivtach Shamir Holdings owns a 20.7-per cent stake in Tnuva, while the remaining 23.3 per cent is held by Kibbutzim Holdings Entity.

Tnuva, which has been operating for more than 86 years, supplies eggs, frozen vegetable products, refrigerated and frozen poultry products, frozen pastry products, poultry, beef and fish.

Tnuva's dairy division supplies fluid and cultured milk items, butter, soy-based drinks, and cheeses throughout Israel. It also markets the Yoplait brand in that country.

With 7500 employees at 31 sites, Tnuva sells about 7 million of its products daily to some 18,000 customers across the country.

Founded in 2006, China's Bright Food Group Co, owned by the Shanghai municipal government, is a large conglomerate in China's food industry having cut deals with well-known multinational companies, including Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Danone, Suntory, Xiehe and Dajing, among others.

It has more than 3,300 supermarkets and retail outlets and e-commerce network in Shanghai and other provinces.