(Corrects in second paragraph and second bullet point to show
$1 billion is enterprise value of the whole of Netafim, not the
value of the 61 pct)
* Permira does not disclose price for Netafim stake
* Source says deal puts enterprise value of about $1 bln on
TEL AVIV, Sept 22 Private equity firm Permira
said its funds had agreed to buy a stake of up to 61
percent in Israel's Netafim Ltd, a provider of irrigation
Permira did not disclose the price it would pay and said the
deal was subject to antitrust conditions, but a source close to
the deal told Reuters on Thursday the deal would put an
enterprise value of about $1 billion on Netafim.
Permira will buy the shares from the kibbutzim Hatzerim,
Yiftach and Magal and Israeli funds Markstone and Tene. Hatzerim
will remain a significant shareholder and Magal will retain a
"We firmly believe that an acquisition of a controlling
stake by such a prominent fund will help Netafim expand
dramatically and further improve its performance and results,"
Netafim President and CEO Igal Aisenberg said in a statement.
"The new shareholders are long-term investors and committed
to the core activities of Netafim, including its plants in
Founded in 1965, Netafim pioneered the use of "dripper"
lines providing spiral water passageways through which water
flow can be controlled and delivered to the roots of crops,
increasing crop yield and reducing water consumption.
It has a 30 percent global market share.
"The adoption of the technology is in its early stages in
large emerging markets and substantial growth opportunities
remain," said Torsten Vogt, a partner and co-head of Permira's
industrials sector team, noting drip irrigation technology would
address water and food scarcity as the global population grows.
Netafim has expanded into landscaping, greenhouse projects
and biofuel energy crops such as sugar cane.
Permira said its funds were backing Netafim's management to
accelerate revenue growth and further expand internationally,
especially in emerging markets such as China and South America.
(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer and David