|Products||Dairy products, meat, pastries|
|Revenue||₪ 7.64 billion (2011)|
|Net income||₪ 428 million (2011)|
|Owner(s)||Apax Partners (51%)|
Tnuva, or Tenuvah, (Hebrew: תנובה, fruit or produce) is a cooperative (co-op) in Israel specializing in milk and dairy products. The 620 members of the cooperative are made up a large number of kibbutzim (or collective farms) and moshavim (or agricultural communities) in Israel. Tnuva is the largest dairy products manufacturer in Israel; its sales account for 70% of the country's dairy market as well as sales of meat, eggs and packaged food.
Tnuva Central Cooperative for the Marketing of Agricultural Produce in Israel Ltd. was created in 1926, following a decision by kibbutz-movement leaders to make cooperatives to distribute and export several types of food products. Tnuva was created as a result but at first only delivered regular milk for drinking. It expanded to cover other dairy products in the 1930s.
Tnuva was labeled by the Israel Antitrust Authority as a monopoly, a status that essentially places the company under government regulation limiting the way it can change the price of its products to protect the consumer and smaller competitors.
In 2006, it was reported that the Markstone Capital Partners Fund was interested in purchasing Tnuva and its assets for about $750 million. The general manager, Arik Reichman, values the company between $800 million to $1 billion. Another obstacle to selling the company or even a large minority share was the need to convert the cooperative to a company requiring a majority of the members approval.
On 20 November 2006 Apax Partners Worldwide LLP, a London-based buyout firm, won a tender to buy control of Tnuva. The bid values the privately held food and dairy group at $1.025 billion, larger than Strauss-Elite Ltd. and Osem Investments Ltd. the two largest publicly held Israeli food companies.
In June 2011 Israeli consumer action groups called for a customer ban on Tnuva products.
In 2012 it went into bankruptcy in Romania.
The cottage cheese protest
In September 2011, a class action was started alleging that "Tnuva abused its position to raise cottage cheese prices by more than 40% between 2006 and 2011." Prof. Avia Spivak and Dr. Meir Amir claimed that between 2009 and 2010, the price of cottage cheese increased 12% while its production cost decreased 4% leaving no doubt that Tnuva took advantage of its monopoly to repeatedly raised prices. The academics claimed this "was unreasonable, not to mention immoral, and could be carried out only by a monopoly." Witnesses for the company claimed the price changes were caused by increased retailer profit margins, an issue Spivak and Amir claimed could be resolved by publishing wholesale figures.
- Dovrat-Meseritz, Adi (16 August 2011). "Boycott who? Tnuva kept cottage cheese market share". Haaretz. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- Ora Coren (11 March 2012). "Tnuva milked over NIS 100m excess profit from Israel's dairy market". Haaretz. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
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