Gaon Wants Partner for Gaon Trade

And group subsidiary Gaon Agro buys 25.1% of irrigation technology company Metzerplas

Businessman Benny Gaon wants a partner for his trading company, which sells at a pace of NIS 2-3 billion a year. The partner would own 25% of Gaon Trading, which owns 50% of Hamashbir Holdings, and 50% of Office Depot. The Livnat family owns the other 50% of Hamashbir Holdings, and Gaon Trade owns the Office Depot stake through the Ace Buy & Build chain.

In parallel Gain is negotiating to sell 5% to 10% of Gaon Trading to a foreign investor at a company value of $100 million, post-transaction.

Gaon Holdings owns Gaon Trading, Gain Capital Market Investments, and Gaon Agro Industries. Once an investor come sin, Gaon means to float the company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange during 2007, at a company value of $150 million.

Benny Gaon founded the Gaon holdings group in 1998. He serves as its president and chairman, and owns 19.85% of its shares.

Other shareholders include businessman Sami Shamoon with a 23.11% stake, Uri David with 14.9%, he Disney family investment arm Shamrock with 4.35% and others.

Gaon also says that international bodies have been in touch about buying Gaon Agro, but adds that the company is not for sale. He might bring in a major partner, such as Siemens, to help expand Gaon Agro into a multinational.

At the end of last week, Gaon Agro signed a memorandum of understanding to buy 25.1% of Metzerplas, an irrigation technology company belonging to Kibbutz Metzer, for NIS 33.5 million.