Isranomics

Battle Brews Over Control of Israel’s Top Food Retail Chain

by | Feb 7, 2024 | Economy | 0 comments

The battle for acquiring a controlling stake in the leading Israeli supermarket chain Shufersal is heating up. Just one day after the announcement of the Amir brothers’ bid to gain control of the company, a prominent businessman Zvika Williger, who oversees the food importer Willifood, has submitted a similar proposal. Williger’s offer, aimed at acquiring 24.9% of Shufersal’s capital and voting rights, was extended to institutional investors with vested interests in the company, including Clal, Menorah, Harel, Migdal, Altshuler Shaham, and the Phoenix.

The proposed deal comes with a hefty price tag of NIS 6.5 billion, representing a substantial 12% premium over Shufersal’s current market valuation on the stock exchange. Concurrently, Williger is actively pursuing partnerships with real estate specialists, engaging in advanced negotiations with three key players in the industry.

This isn’t the first time Williger, co-owner of the food company Wilipod alongside his brother Yossi Williger, has sought to gain control of Shufersal. Back in 2020, he attempted to assemble a consortium of investors to acquire shares from Eduardo Edelstein, before the retail giant transitioned into a company without a controlling nucleus.

In 2022, reports surfaced of Williger’s efforts to mobilize an investor group to acquire additional stakes in Shufersal, although he initially refuted these claims. In a candid interview with Israeli publication Globes in November of that year, Williger hinted at potential mergers or shifts in ownership within Shufersal, expressing scepticism about the sustainability of its institutional ownership structure. He emphasized his substantial shareholding in the company as a strategic asset.

Image credit: KNAPP Systemintegration GmbH

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