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Some 200 Makhteshim Agan Industries employees will take early, voluntary retirement in the next two years as part of a reorganization plan signed between the company and its union.

Seventy will leave in 2011 and another 130 in 2012. The Histadrut Labor Federation signed on the deal along with the union with a likely sale of the agrochemicals manufacturer to China National Chemical Corporation, known as ChemChina, overshadowing the negotiations.

Makhteshim said the agreement would allow it to cut back or even close certain production lines, and allow it to switch to more profitable products, but the company refused to disclose any financial numbers of specifics.

The IDB group, which is the controlling shareholder in Makhteshim Agan via its holdings in Koor Industries, is now on the verge of closing the deal with the Chinese.