State owned Bright Food said it is considering buying Tnuva Food Industries, and confirmed that it is in 'preliminary' talks with the Israeli company.
Bright Food is among a growing number of Chinese companies buying foreign companies in an effort to gain a larger international market share and technological know-how. The Chinese company has recently bought majority holdings in U.S. pork giant Smithfield Foods Inc, Australia’s Manassen Foods, New Zealand dairy firm Synlait Milk Ltd, UK cereal maker Weetabix and France's Diva.
Talking about a the possibility of an acquisition with Reuters, Bright Food spokesman Pan Jianjun said Bright Food is in preliminary talks with Tnuva, however did not specify the size of stake it might buy.
"This has really just got going, and the two sides are in the process of talking and understanding one another," said Jianjun.
Tnuva is the largest food manufacturer and distributor in Israel, and according to controlling shareholder UK-based investment firm Apax Partners LLP, the company owns seven of the 10 most known food brands in Israel and holds 14% of Israel's food retail shelf space.
Apax and investment partner Mivtach Shamir Food Industries Ltd. acquired a 77% stake in Tnuva for more than $1 billion (€760 million) in 2008.
Tnuva recently reported NIS 1.83bn (€382m) revenue for the second quarter up 4.5% from NIS 1.75bn (€363m) in the corresponding quarter of 2012. Net profit was NIS 127m (€26.6m).
In a Sept. 2 statement to the Tel Aviv stock exchange, Tnuva said Apax gets offers for a stake in the company from time to time and Apax has indicated offers have not led to negotiations.