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August 18, 2021updated 22 Aug 2021 4:13pm

Israel’s Strauss Group takes majority interest in tofu maker Wyler Farms

Strauss plans to expand Wyler Farms into more value-added propositions.

Strauss Group, the Israel-based food and drinks business, has taken a controlling stake in local tofu products firm Wyler Farms.

Publicly-listed Strauss, based in the city of Petach Tikva, has invested in a 51% interest in Wyler for an undisclosed sum. The deal is subject to approval by Israel’s competition authority.

Strauss said it was already distributing Wyler’s products to local retailers prior to entering an agreement to buy the business, which was founded in 1994 by David Wyler before being bought out in 2017 by three partners, Gilad Tzory, Dori Friedman and Ilan Safriel.

The company’s products feature seven SKUs ranging from regular soy to marinated and baked varieties, and two others based on chickpeas, all manufactured at its plant in the city of Netivot.

“We intend to expand the product range under the Wyler brand and deliver added-value to consumers, as well as to generally increase our variety of alternative-protein-based products to include more categories in the next few years,” Eyal Dror, the CEO of Strauss Israel, the manufacturing arm of the business, said in a statement.

Strauss Israel has a branded portfolio consisting of salty snacks, salads, milk, confectionery, olive oil, honey, coffee and water produced at 20 sites across the country.

Strauss Group, meanwhile, also manufactures for the Alpro brand owned by French dairy giant Danone. The group is also present in dips and spreads through two international joint ventures with US-based food and beverage major PepsiCo – Obela, formed in 2011 with a focus outside North America, and Sabra Dipping Co., set up four years later serving the US market.

In 2016, Obela acquired the Dutch company Florentin, a producer of organic houmous spreads, falafels, salads and pita bread.

Strauss Group this week reported a 10% increase in second-quarter revenues to ILS2.13bn (US$658.6m) but EBITDA fell 4.2% to ILS296m. Net profit was also down at ILS126m, a drop of 6.3%.

Strauss Israel reported revenues of ILS917m in the quarter, an increase of 7.7%. Operating profit in terms of EBIT rose 10.1% to ILS108m.

For the first half, revenues at Strauss Group climbed 2.1% to ILS4.19bn, with EBITDA up 0.9% at ILS669m and net profit up 8.7% at ILS332m.

Strauss Israel saw revenues rise 3.1% to ILS1.89bn, with EBIT up 6.6% at ILS237m.

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