In an agreement expected to be signed within the next twenty-four hours, Apax Partners Israel, managed by Zehavit Cohen, is buying 55% of variety store chain Max Stock for about NIS 170 million, at a company valuation of NIS 250-300 million. The chain's annual turnover is estimated at NIS 360 million.
Max Stock operates 41 branches around Israel, holding some 10,000 items in each branch. It sells furniture, school equipment, disposable tableware, clothing and textiles, at low prices. The founder and owner of the chain is Uri Max. Max Stock has a strategy and management structure similar to those of discount food chains.
Industry sources told "Globes" that it would be difficult for Apax Partners to maintain Max Stock's high profitability, since it currently has almost no senior managers and Uri Max is involved in the activity of the stores down to the level of paying wages, so that if Apax tried to introduce higher level, and high-paid, managers, the chain's profitability is liable to be substantially harmed.
It was reported a year ago that Apax was in advanced negotiations to acquire fashion chain Renuar, but no agreement was reached. Several years ago, the fund also negotiated with the Fox-Wizel Ltd. (TASE: FOX) fashion group. These negotiations were also ultimately unsuccessful.
Three years ago, Apax sold its investment in Tnuva Food Industries Ltd. to Chinese corporation Bright Food at a company value of NIS 8.6 billion.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 6, 2017
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