Wertheimer Group to Spend $150 Million on Expansion

The Wertheimer Group, which is managed by Eitan Wertheimer, plans to invest about $150 million in the next two years to open factories in Israel and abroad.

About 70 percent of the facilities will be in Israel. The spending will focus on increasing production capacity and expanding the company's factory in Tefen in the Western Galilee.

In 2005 Iscar, one of the group's companies, carried out three large investments in China and in Japan. Two factories built in China at a combined cost of about $45 million are slated to come online in China in four months' time. The company has been operating in China for about 20 years.

Iscar recently acquired the Japanese company UniTech at a cost of $15-20 million. The purchase marks the Israeli company's first entry into the Japanese market.

Sales by the Wertheimer Group increased in 2005 to an estimated $1.25 billion, at least, with Iscar representing more than $1 billion of that figure. Iscar, which manufactures precision cutting tools used in 60 factories in countries around the world, expects a further jump in sales in 2006.

One of the companies in the group, Blades Technology, which manufactures parts for aircraft engines, is increasing its sales by 35 percent annually and expects to record sales of $300 million in 2006. The company works in concert with multinational giants Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney. Eitan Wertheimer said recently that both companies told him that their partnerships with the Wertheimer Group are the best of their partnerships worldwide.

On Tuesday the Wertheimer Group dedicated the first technology park in Turkey. The park was initiated by Stef Wertheimer, who retired from the day-to-day management of the company about 20 years ago and now focuses on creating industrial parks in Israel.

The Turkish park was created in partnership with the Turkish government, which Stef Wertheimer has been advising on economic matters.