Tnuva

Tnuva

Tnuva, or Tenuvah, (תנובה, fruit or produce) is a cooperative (co-op) in Israel specializing in milk and dairy products. The 620 members of the cooperative are made up a large number of kibbutzim (or collective farms) and moshavim (or agricultural communities) in Israel. Tnuva is the largest dairy products manufacturer in Israel; its sales account for 70% of the country's dairy market as well as sales of meat, eggs and packaged food.

Tnuva Central Cooperative for the Marketing of Agricultural Produce in Israel Ltd. was created in 1926, following a decision by kibbutz-movement leaders to make cooperatives to distribute and export several types of food products. Tnuva was created as a result but at first only delivered regular milk for drinking. It expanded to cover other dairy products in the 1930s.

Tnuva was labeled by the Israel AntiTrust Authority as a monopoly , a status that essentially places the company under government regulation limiting the way it can change the price of its products to protect the consumer and smaller competitors.

In 2006, it was reported that the Markstone Capital Partners Fund was interested in purchasing Tnuva and its assets for about $750 million. The general manager, Arik Reichman, values the company between $800 million to $1 billion. Another obstacle to selling the company or even a large minority share was the need to convert the cooperative to a company requiring a majority of the members approval.

In November 20, 2006 Apax Partners Worldwide LLP, a London-based buyout firm, won a tender to buy control of Tnuva. The bid values the privately held food and dairy group at $1.025 billion, larger than Strauss-Elite Ltd. and Osem Investments Ltd. the two largest publicly held Israeli food companies. The deal is still subject to approval from Tnuva's owners—the 620 kibbutzim and agricultural communities. However, according to the Israeli press, there are Tnuva members which object to the sale.

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