Businessman Mozi Wertheim is passing on his holdings to the next generation: The head of one of the country's largest conglomerates has split his shares in the Central Bottling Company (Coca-Cola Israel ) between his two children, David and Drorit.
David, 54, is receiving 63% of his father's holdings in the Central Bottling Company and its subsidiaries; he is eventually expected to take over management of the company. Drorit, 57, is receiving the remaining 37%.
The company, which has revenues of more than $1 billion a year, is privately owned by the elder Wertheim. He has managed the company exclusively for the past several years. Despite the ownership handover, Mozi Wertheim maintains right of attorney to continue doing so as long as he is capable.
The company's subsidiaries include Coca-Cola Israel, Nestea Israel, Neviot, Prigat, Carlsberg Israel, Tuborg Israel and the Tara dairy. It also owns shares in Channel 2 franchisee Keshet, which, in turn, controls music channel 24 and the Mako web portal.
Central Bottling Company CEO Ronnie Kobrovsky was reportedly disappointed not to receive a share. "It's no secret that Roni gave his all to the company and hoped to be an heir. He didn't receive even 1%," said a source close to the company.
The handover came to light through reports by the publicly-held Neviot to the stock exchange.
Mozi Wertheim, 81, is believed to have started giving away his assets in an attempt to avoid an inheritance battle such as the one that broke out between Yuli Ofer's children after the billionaire's death last year. That battle has thrown the family's control of Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot into question.
The Ofers control the bank in partnership with Wertheim, who owns a 22.4% share. He reportedly intends to split that between his children, too.
Wertheim's children had not played an active role in his business activities over the years, raising speculation as to how they would succeed their father. Several months ago, Wertheim appointed the Central Bottling Company a board of directors where none had existed before, leading the market to speculate that he was preparing to hand over his shares.
David and Drorit are among the company's directors. Wertheim first started divesting himself three years ago, when he handed over control of his holding company M. Wertheim. David received 61%, and Drorit received 26%. The remaining shares are owned by Gazit Rotenberg Trusteeship.
M. Wertheim holds a 25% share in real estate company Aloni Hetz and a 7.7% share in BMW importer Kamor Motors, along with a 5% stake in Keshet.
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