William Davidson to invest $50m in Phoenicia

Davidson will invest in a new plant for the manufacture of advanced glass.

Guardian Industries president and CEO William Davidson will invest another $50 million in Israel over the next three years. The Jewish-American businessman is also a shareholder in Phoenicia America-Israel (Flat Glass) Ltd. Guardian Industries has a turnover of $5 billion.

Davidson will invest in the establishment of a new plant for the manufacture of advanced glass using innovative technology. The plant will be built in the Tzippori industrial park in the Galilee, where Phoenicia America-Israel has two plants. This will be the first foreign direct investment in Israeli industry since the end of the second Lebanon war, and will be made in northern Israel.

Phoenicia America-Israel president Oded Tyrah said the company's current obsolescent technology could not guarantee the company's continued existence, because existing glass products were not competitive in export markets, which comprised the bulk of the company's business.

Davidson's investment in Phoenicia America-Israel will be slated for innovated armored glass products. One of the company's present plants makes laminated glass and the other makes sunguard glass. The second plant is the one that will be upgraded. The technology infrastructure that will be set up in the plant will be state-of-the-art. Guardian Industries will market the new products worldwide.

Phoenicia America-Israel's sales turnover is expected to rise to $120 million a year from the current $80 million. 90% of production will be exported, up from the current 80%. The new plant will have 340 new employees, mostly Jewish and Arab Galilee residents. The company already has 270 employees.

Davidson is due to meet Minister of Finance Abraham Hirchson and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai in Jerusalem tomorrow morning, in the wake of his new investment in Israel. Davidson will announce the establishment of the new plant after the meeting. Phoenicia America-Israel will promise to hire more employees. In addition to Davidson's investment, the company could become eligible for grants from the Investment Promotions Center.

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