"This deal is a great compliment to the Israeli economy," Tnuva Food Industries Ltd. CEO Arik Shor told “IDF Radio" (Galei Zahal) in response to the sale of the controlling interest in the company to China's Bright Food Group Ltd. "It is evidence of the soundness of the Israeli economy and Israeli agriculture. Congratulations to the parties in the effort: the employees, managers, and shareholders."
Shor said the sale of control in Tnuva to Bright Food would allow the company to export its products. "A long-term strategic partner has come, and together we will develop many products and we'll be able sell and expand outside Israel - to China and other countries where Bright Food operates. For 88 years, Tnuva has dreamed of having an owner of this quality."
Commenting on allegations of high prices for Tnuva products, Shor said, "55% of Tnuva's dairy products are price controlled. The government sets the price we pay dairy farmers. The government sets the prices for sour cream, white cheese, eggs and milk. The government dictates prices. In addition, many Western countries exempt dairy products from VAT, which is not the case in Israel."
Asked if he was worried that the Chinese government would pressure the Israeli government to remove price controls, Shor said, "I do not deal with pressure by China. I think that this is a good move for Tnuva which opens horizons that it did not have before."
As for threats by Tnuva's workers committee, which wants a bigger share of the deal, Shor said, "One of the main reasons the company improved was our wonderful workers. They deserve a bonus, and we've been in talks for several weeks. I believe that this will be concluded in an optimal way."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 22, 2014
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