Mivtach Shamir Expected to Join Apax Partners in Selling Its Stake in Tnuva

China’s government-owned Bright Food buying up Israel’s largest dairy company.

Dan Keinan

Mivtach Shamir Holdings is expected to join Apax Partners in selling a controlling stake in Tnuva, Israel’s largest dairy company, to Bright Food of China, at a valuation of 8.4 billion shekels ($2.1 billion).

The last day slated currently to complete the sale of interests in Tnuva is January 5, but it is thought that the transfer to Bright Food, a government-owned Chinese company, might be deferred now that Mivtach Shamir is joining Apax in selling its stake. Mivtach Shamir indirectly holds a 20.7% share in Tnuva.

Unless there is an unexpected turn of events involving Mivtach Shamir, which has been in extended negotiations with Bright Food over remaining in Tnuva’s controlling shareholder group, it is now expected that the Israeli company will also sell its stake. At one stage, Mivtach Shamir was negotiating guarantees in connection with a put option – an option to sell its stake in Tnuva at a future date at a specific price – but matters have not come to fruition.

Among the brands that Bright Food controls is British cereal manufacturer Weetabix. Apax Partners is a London-based private equity firm.