Willi-Food accelerates expansion plan with acquisition of Laish

by Eric Schroeder
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YAVNE, ISRAEL — G. Willi-Food International Ltd., one of Israel’s largest food importers, has acquired the operations and assets of Laish Israeli Food Products Ltd., a U.S. importer and distributor of kosher food products, for approximately $3.7 million in cash. Of this amount, $3.3 million was paid at closing and up to an additional $400,000 is payable during the next 18 months, depending on collection of receivables, Willi-Food said.

Laish Israeli has been in business for 15 years and currently distributes kosher products such as canned foods and candies to groceries, independent supermarkets and supermarket chains in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The company, which had revenues of approximately $7.5 million during 2006, offers such brands as Jerusalem Matzos, Billybee, Mikee, Elite and Mrs. Adler’s.

"This acquisition is in line with in our strategy to expand Willi-Food’s presence in the growing U.S. kosher market," said Zwi Williger, president and chief operating officer of Willi-Food. "Our innovative product lines will complement existing offerings and are designed to drive demand and margin growth. Moreover, we are now well positioned to establish retailer relationships at both the local and national levels in the United States."

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