Disney's fund to buy Ahava stake

Ahava products are sold in 25 countries by 22 distributors.

Shamrock Holdings, the investment arm of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) has signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) to acquire 16.9% of Dead Sea Laboratories Ltd., which makes skincare products under the Ahava brand, from B. Gaon Holdings Ltd. (TASE: GAON) for $12.2 million at a company value of $60 million before money.

The investment is part of Shamrock's strategy to collaborate directly with Gaon Holdings' subsidiaries, and sold its stake in Gaon Holdings in November in order to avoid conflicts of interest.

Ahava products are sold in over 25 countries by 22 distributors.

In October 2007, Ahava deferred a planned IPO on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) at a company value of $80-100 million when it failed to obtain the price it wanted.

Gaon Holdings chairman Benjamin Gaon told "Globes" today, "There are no plans to float Ahava in the near future." He added, "Shamrock will give Ahava the American touch. Its investment will give Ahava a new dimension for marketing in the US."

Shamrock is run by president Stanley Gold. It has made a number of investments in Israel, including in Koor Industries Ltd. (TASE:KOR) when Gaon was CEO of the company.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 21, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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