SodaStream CEO: More Israel investment depends on incentives

Daniel Birnbaum: If our grants are cancelled, and if the companies tax is raised, we may shift and move production to another continent.

"We've received orders beyond our expectations, which has put pressure our production capacity. We're now expanding production even before we open our Negev plant," SodaStream International Ltd. (Nasdaq: SODA) CEO Daniel Birnbaum told "Globes", after the company announced that it was expanding its Alon Tavor plant in the Galilee to meet growing demand, but he warned that further investment in Israel depended on government policy.

"If our grants are cancelled, and if the companies tax is raised, we may shift and move production to another continent. We must have credible and stable politics here to create a good business environment. I must ultimately answer to our investors on Nasdaq. If the government makes a promise, the government must keep it. If there are u-turns, I'll u-turn to another continent," said Birnbaum.

SodaStream has eight plants in Israel and ten more in other countries, and it sells in 45 countries. "The products we manufacture at the Alon Tavor plant are sold in countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, and France, even though we have another plant at Mishor Adumim, because of the sensitivity in these countries to Israeli products manufactured beyond the Green Line," said Birnbaum.

Birnbaum is due to meet Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett in a few weeks to discuss tens of millions of shekels in grants for the company's investments in the Negev. "I understand that there is a new government and officials who want take up their posts. I just hope that my meeting with Bennett will be held before the companies tax is raised."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 24, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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