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Kibbutz Mizra has approved the sale of 50 percent of cold cut chain Mizra Delicatessen to specialty retail chain Tiv Taam. The deal closed at an estimated NIS 67 million company value for Mizra, and Tiv Taam will inject capital to develop the kibbutz's meat processing plant.

Mizra has a reputation for high quality in the non-kosher meat market, but its weak spot is access to consumers. Tiv Taam's shelf space will thus be a boon to Mizra. In just a few years, Tiv Taam has become a foodstuffs retailer with annual turnover of more than NIS 1 billion. Tiv Taam also manufactures non-kosher meat products, but these are currently only sold by the chain itself.

Pork in Israel is a 1,000 ton per month sector, of which Mizra produces 150 tons and Tiv Taam produces 250 tons. The deal will give Tiv Taam a dominant position with a 40 percent market share.

Mizra also owns a delicatessen chain. However, despite its years of seniority to Tiv Taam in the same market, it hasn't matched the newcomer in growth. This is due to apparently the high-end nature of the delicatessens, which caused Mizra to miss the huge growth potential in the wave of Russian immigration in the 1990s.

Tiv Taam's spokeswoman said no decision has been made regarding the Mizra delicatessen chain. Tiv Taam, whose supermarkets are located in suburban and industrial areas where real estate costs are lower, has launched an urban chain named "Tiv Taam Deli", with one branch in Ra'anana. Market sources believe that merging the delicatessen chains could be problematic as Tiv Taam's delis are substantially larger than Mizra's stores.