A Fresno manufacturing plant and distribution center are included in a $1.5 billion deal involving what is said to be the world’s largest irrigation company.
Mexichem, a piping and chemical company headquartered in Mexico with 2016 revenue of $5.3 billion, agreed to acquire an 80 percent stake in Netafim in August.
Kibbutz Hatzerim, an Israeli-based co-founder of Netafim, will retain a 20 percent share, with the deal expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The deal valued Netafim, founded in 1965 and a pioneer of drip-irrigation technology, at $1.895 billion. Much of the stake, about 60 percent, being acquired by Mexichem will come from private equity and buyout firm Permira, which bought into Netafim in 2011.
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“By combining our current irrigation portfolio with Netfim’s business, we will create a formidable growth platform to drive synergies,” said Antonio Carrillo Rule, Mexichem’s chief executive officer.
Netafim has operations in 30 countries, 17 manufacturing plants and more than 4,300 employees and sells its products in more than 110 countries.
Fresno-based Netafim USA’s operations were expanded in 2015 to include a 102,000-square-foot distribution center at 1550 N. Peach Ave. The company moved its North American subsidiary from New York to Fresno in 1992.
“The company will remain independent. The management team and myself will keep running the company,” Netafim Chief Executive Ran Maidan told Reuters in August. “We will be able come with all the advantages of being a part of a group, and on the other hand we will maintain Netafim’s independent character and identity.”