April 11, 2016 / 3:06 AM / 4 years ago

China's Fosun to buy Dead Sea cosmetics maker Ahava for $77 mln

SHANGHAI, April 11 (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group said it has agreed to buy Dead Sea cosmetics manufacturer Ahava for 290 million shekels ($77 million), a deal that will help it to tap increasing demand for health-focused and personal care products in China.

Fosun will wholly own Ahava, which makes skin care products from Dead Sea minerals and mud.

The deal comes after some setbacks for Fosun, whose huge appetite for M&A has seen it amass interests in sectors from pharmaceuticals to mining and hospitality. Its chairman briefly went missing late last year, and in February it shelved a plan to buy a controlling stake in Israeli insurer Phoenix Holdings .

“We will endeavour to extend the success of this brand to China and other countries,” Fosun Group CEO Liang Xinjun said in an emailed statement.

An investor in Ahava, B. Gaon Holdings had flagged the deal size last week, but did not name the buyer. A source close to the transaction had told Reuters it was China’s Fosun International.

Ahava, which uses a plant in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has been the target of pro-Palestinian groups who have called for a boycott of its products. The company has said it may move its plant from the West Bank.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan and Matthew Miller; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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