FORBES - SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
The story that runs in Israel every few weeks now is “The Chinese are coming” — and it comes in a few different contexts.
The most prominent stories of the last few years were a few mega
deals in the Israeli market of Chinese companies buying Israeli
companies. One of the most famous ones happened in May 2014 when
China’s Bright Food Group bought the most popular dairy called Tnuva, a company that for many Israelis symbolizes the country itself.
There were a lot of debates if a national symbol such as Tnuva should
really be sold to a foreign entity, especially a Chinese one. What
people in Israel forgot is that the majority of Tnuva stocks was sold in
2008 to Apax Partners, which is a British fund active in Israel since 1984. Back then there wasn’t such a fuss around the deal.
Another publicized deal was the selling of Phoenix insurance company
to Fosun. This made headlines a few times as the deal was supposed to
close by June 2015 but eventually was canceled in February 2016 as
reported. This happened because of the objections of the Ministry of
Finance over whether a foreign entity should hold Israeli pension funds.
Megadeals like these arise in headlines every one to two years.