Mey Eden now a foreign-owned company
Mey Eden sold to foreign investment fund
European-American private equity firm Rhone Capital buys rights to bottle water from Salukia wellspring in Golan Heights at total value of NIS 1.2 billion
European-American private equity firm Rhone Capital has bought the rights to bottle water from the Salukia wellspring in the Golan Heights under the name Mey Eden, after completing the sale of the activity of Eden Holland – Mey Eden's parent company – to the private equity's investment funds at a total value of NIS 1.2 billion ($330 million).


As part of the deal, the entire activity of listen company Maayanot Eden in Israel and abroad has been sold, and the company remains a shelf corporation. Public company Maayanot Eden is owned by the Naftali family, and other shareholders include American hedge fund manager Och-Ziff and company CEO Raanan Zilberman, who hold Eden Holland together.


Eden Holland is active in 15 countries in Europe and in Israel, selling mineral water in bottles and jugs, as well as selling water filters and coffee beans.


As part of the deal, the foreign investment fund acquired the rights to bottle water in 27 springs in Europe, as well as in Israel's Slukia wellspring, turning Mei Eden into a foreign-owned company.


Maayanot Eden's share in the deal is expected to total NIS 120 million ($33 million).


Goal: Expansion in Europe coffee, water market

CEO Raanan Zilberman, who will keep his post, said: "We see the acquisition as a wonderful opportunity to accelerate the company's expansion." According to Zilberman, Eden Holland's vision is to become the leader of Europe's water and coffee market.


Mey Eden's Pauza company leads the office coffee services market in Israel with a market share of 47%. Now the company seeks to take the knowledge gained over the years in Pauza and assimilate it into the European market.


Today, the company already sells coffee in Israel and Europe for close to NIS 200 million ($55.5 million) as part of the coffee services it supplies to residences and offices. It is also one of Lavazza's biggest distributors around the world and recently launched a private brand.


In order to expand in the global coffee market, the company requires investments, such as purchasing competitors' companies and advertising campaign. The company's current shareholders decided, therefore, to sell it to an investment fund interested in continuing to develop the company.


The water jugs activity makes up 70% of the turnover of the company, which generates NIS 1.3 billion ($360 million) a year. The company supplies water to Buckingham Palace, the United Nations, airlines and banks in Europe.


Through the acquisition, the company plans to expand its water activity mainly in Eastern Europe, as in Western Europe it is the "leading water brand," according to a company official.


'Prices won't go up'

Mey Eden announced recently that the Israeli company planned to enter the water filters market in Israel and compete against Tami 4, Electra, Brita and other brands.


According to a company source, "The acquisition will not affect plans to enter the filter market. On the contrary, part of the company's agenda in looking for investors was for them to support this move as well."


Addressing fears that consumer prices would go up following the company's sale to a foreign investment fund, the source said: "The market in Israel is very competitive in terms of bottle and filters. I believe there is no reason the acquisition will affect the consumer price. On the contrary, we expect competition to grow and companies to offer more filter and coffee solutions, which will encourage competition in the market.


"In all markets – coffee machines, water filters and bottles – prices have gone down in recent years. That also has to do with the improved technology, and we don't expect prices to increase."



פרסום ראשון: 06.16.13, 15:00
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