Food giant Nestle has increased its stake in Israel-based food manufacturer OSEM by around 5% in a deal worth €75m (ILS 371.7m).
Nestle’s now holds a 58.76% share in the company after it acquired the additional stake from former Osem chief executive Gad Propper.
Nestle last upped its stake in Osem in 2002 to 50.1%.
Nestle first partnered with Osem in 1995. The partnership has given Osem exclusive distribution rights for Nestle products in Israel and allowed it to manufacture some of Nestle’s products locally.
After Nestle upped its stake in 2002, it established a worldwide snack research and development center at Osem’s site in Sderot.
The Israeli-based company manufactures bakery, salad and snack products. It also produces pasta and wafers from its factory in Sderot
Osem has a presence in exports markets, which has been enhanced through its partnership with Nestle.
It established a UK division in 1959 and is currently present on the kosher market in British supermarkets, including Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury and Morrison.
Since it partnered with Nestle, it also has rights to distribute Nestle’s ethnic products in specialized markets in the UK.
Osem sales for the nine months ending 30 September 2011 stood at €618m (ILS 3.02bn) up around 7% on the previous year.
The company’s operating profit was also up almost 5% during this period to €78.3m (ILS 383m).
BakeryAndSnacks.com asked Nestle whether its increased stake in Osem would result in further investment or a change of strategy for the business, but Nestle declined to comment on the outlook of Osem as it was “in the middle of a quiet period”.