|Warren Buffett to buy 80% of Iscar
Warren Buffett, the legendary Omaha, Nebraska, investor, announced on Friday that he would purchase 80% of the Israeli company Iscar. The company's current owners, the famous Wertheimer family, will receive some $4 billion for the deal.
The deal is the largest ever purchase of an Israeli company and makes the Wertheimer family the single wealthiest family in Israel.
Buffett is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Berkshire Hatherway investment firm, which is valued on the New York Stock Exchange at some $135 billion (while Warren Buffet himself is valued above $ 40 billion) The firm owns shares primarily in insurance companies, but also in such giants as Coca Cola and American Express.
The purchase marks the largest non-American company ever purchased by Buffett.
Iscar is among the world's leading metalworking companies, producing advanced cutting tools for multiple industries. The company employs thousands of workers in Israel and owns dozens of companies around the world.
Though the deal includes Iscar's subsidiaries, it excludes Iscar Blades, the maker of airline industry cutting devices, which will remain in the hands of the Wertheimer family.
The deal is still pending approval by Israeli and American regulators, but is widely expected to be approved on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly since the Wertheimer Group's dealings with the Israeli defense establishment are conducted through Iscar Blades.
Buffett added in his announcement that there would not be significant changes in the company's Israeli management. CEO Ya'akov Herpez and Chairman Eitan Wertheimer, the son of company founder Stef Wertheimer, would remain in their positions and would continue to run the company from Tefen in the Galilee.