Business tycoon eats 45 per cent share of Israeli food company

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cent, Kashrut

The owners of Israeli food giant
Willi-Foods announced yesterday that they will sell
45 per cent of the company to international businessman
Arcadi Gaydamak for $40.5m (€30.1m).

The company claims to be one of Israel's largest food importers, and a supplier of one of the world's most extensive ranges of kosher food products. The product range includes candied sweets, bakery, canned and dairy products. "We have built one of the most significant kosher food companies in Israel and are rapidly expanding our presence in international markets,"​ said Zwi Williger of Willi-Foods. "We are focused on driving long-term, profitable growth by capitalising on our expertise in product innovation and expanding distribution channels both domestically and internationally."​ Zwi Williger will sell Gaydamak 30.5 per cent of his share in the company leaving him with 8 per cent, while his brother Joseph Williger will sell his entire 14.4 per cent share. Zwi Williger will continue managing Willi-Food International, and claims the company's expansion strategy will remain on track in the US and European food markets. In 2006 it closed a $10m private placement with US investors to build a new distribution centre for increased capacity, and expanded its range of kosher confectionery and dairy products. Willi-Foods' revenues grew by about 20 per cent in the third quarter of 2006, compared to 2005, and increased by 22 per cent during the first nine months of 2006, the company said. Hoovers reports that the company's sales grew by 25.5 per cent in 2006, to $45.3m (€33.7m). Gaydamak is also the primary shareholder of other companies in Israel including Ocif Investment & Development, Petro Group and Gilon Investments.

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