Is Bamba relocating? Osem, Israel's 3rd largest food producer may be leaving the country

Swiss owner, Nesle food conglomerate completing purchase of company's intellectual property including patents, recipes, brand names and could end local production at risk to Israel's food security
Tamar Ganon, Nurit Kadosh|
Osem, One of Israel's oldest food producers may be leaving the country. The company which is now part of the Nestle international food conglomerate may be relocated to Switzerland.
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Nestle under the guise of a reorganization program, is in effect acquiring Osem's intellectual property, such as patents, formulas and recipes, and brand names, and could remove Israel's third largest food producer from Israel all together, at a cost to the country's food security and a loss of thousands of jobs.
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הצצה למהפכה ירוקה בתעשיית המזון
הצצה למהפכה ירוקה בתעשיית המזון
Osem factory in northern Israel
(Photo: Osem Nestle PR)
Established in 1942 by industrialist Eugen Propper the company is credited with producing some of Israel's staple foods such as the famous Bamba - a peanut butter based puffed maize salty crisp favored my most Israeli children, even before they are able to chew) and ptitim, the toasted pasta rice substitute, produced at the request of then prime minister David Ben Gurion in 1953 amid food shortages in the newly established state, which is still used in most Israeli homes, to mention but two.
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Osem's Bamba snak
Osem's Bamba snak
Osem's Bamba snak
(Photo: Osem)
Proper's son Dan who led the firm from 1966, turning it into a publicly traded company, began marketing Nestle products such as coffee, chocolate and breakfast cereals in 1995. Nestle then began acquiring company shares giving it a majority stake by 1997. In 2016 Nestle completed the purchase of all Osem shares for 3.1 billion shekels.
Having already set the ball in motion, Nestle, if the purchase of the rights is completed would be able to reduce local production or stop it all together, according to its own considerations such as political pressure to boycott Israel.
The Justice Ministry and tax authorities must intervene and review the conditions of the acquisition.
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