Four months after acquiring Clal Industries' controlling interest from Nochi Dankner, Russian-American billionaire Len Blavatnik is getting the group's holdings in order. Calcalist has learned that Blavatnik is in advanced talks to sell the Kitan company to an Israeli buyer from the industry for about NIS 30 million ($7.5 million).
Kitan Textile Industry is a subsidiary of Clal Industry. It operates 22 outlets nationwide, in which it sells home textile products that it manufactures in Europe and the Far East. The company also holds the European and US license for the Esprit bed and bath products brand.
Until not so long ago, Kitan was an icon of Israel's
textile industry. In its heyday, it employed thousands of workers, but the crisis in the textile industry forced the company to relocate its production to the Far East and to Eastern Europe. Only several dozen workers remain in Kitan's facilities in Israel.
Kitan is currently on the rocks, suffering an NIS 18 million ($5 million) loss in 2011. In Clal Industries' books it is listed at a NIS 33 million ($8.5 million) value, dropping from a NIS 39 million ($10 million) book value at the end of 2011. Kitan's activity has become insubstantial and Clal no longer posts its full financial reports.
Calcalist has learned that one recent bidder for Kitan was owner of the Tiv Taam supermarket chain, but that the parties did not reach the negotiating table as his offer was worth only several million of shekels.
Blavatnik acquired Clal Industries' controlling interest from Nochi Dankner in 2012 for NIS 1.27 billion ($320 million). Clal Industries holds Nesher Cement, Taavura Holdings, Hadera Paper Mills, Clal Biotechnologies and Golf home textile, a fashion group which is an affiliate of Kitan.
This report was originally published in Hebrew