Osem Group Completes Acquisition of U.S.-based Tribe Mediterranean Foods for $57 million

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Osem bolsters impressive international prepared food division with the addition of Tribe Mediterranean Foods, the second leading hummus maker in North America

Osem's growth strategy is based on continuing to grow its business in the Israeli market through innovations and entering into new categories, as well as on developing its international operations in the two areas where we have a significant competitive advantage: salads and meat substitutes

Today, the Osem Group announced that it has completed the acquisition of U.S.-based Tribe Mediterranean Foods for 57 million dollars.

Tribe's operations in North America will be incorporated into Osem's Prepared Food division, headed by Omri Lotan. Tribe will join the brands Tivall, Salatay Tsabar and Bonjour, which are popular in Israel and Europe. The acquisition will enable Tribe to promote its popular line of all natural and organic hummus and to expand its Mediterranean food line.

"Osem's growth strategy is based on continuing to grow its business in the Israeli market through innovations and entering into new categories, as well as on developing its international operations in the two areas where we have a significant competitive advantage: salads and meat substitutes," said Mr. Gezy Kaplan, Osem's Group CEO. "Our parent company, The Nestlé Group, has a substantial presence in these markets, supports and assists Osem Group in realizing its strategy and is an active partner in all of Osem's international steps. The Nestlé Group has been instrumental in helping Osem build a new factory for Tivall in the Czech Republic, acquiring Hälsans Kök brand in Sweden, launching into different Western European markets and acquiring Tribe."

Bruce Rubin, President of Tribe Mediterranean Foods, stated, "We have had a wonderful experience under our current ownership helping to pioneer the hummus category, and more specifically, our natural and organic hummus segments. Our relationship with Osem will help us develop our products and brands more rapidly and broadly as we take the company through the next phase of its development."

Tribe will enable Osem's Prepared Food division to satisfy the growing demand for healthy, convenience and ethnic foods in the U.S. where, in Mr. Kaplan's opinion, the growth potential is enormous, considering that this segment's penetration rate is only 4%.

"We are impressed with Tribe's management team and intend to keep them driving the business to further heights, said Omri Lotan, CEO of Osem's Prepared Food division. "Tribe has a strong and healthy business platform, a state-of-the art manufacturing facility and a strong team of capable and enthusiastic people."

Established in 1993, Tribe Mediterranean Foods is a pioneer in the growing U.S. hummus industry and was one of the first companies to introduce all natural and organic hummus products. The Tribe product assortment to date includes 17 different all natural flavors and 5 organic. All Tribe hummus products are preservative-free, non-dairy, certified Kosher and contain no saturated fats, cholesterol or hydrogenated oils. Tribe's hummus has won numerous taste awards and has been voted the highest quality hummus at product cuttings throughout the country.

In 2004, Tribe built a state-of-the-art factory to produce hummus, situated in Taunton, Massachusetts. In this manner, Tribe positioned itself as the only company in the U.S. with an advanced production facility with significant potential to further expand production. It shows a steady growth rate with projected sales of $32 million for 2008, up 25% from 2007.

Hummus is part of the salads and chilled dips category which has in past years achieved tremendous growth in the U.S. This growth is attributed to healthy food trends, greater interest in ethnic food and increased prepared meals consumption. The hummus market in America is estimated to be around $200 million a year and is enjoying dramatic growth rates at an average of 124% in the past five years. This increase is expected to continue in the coming years. It is estimated that the market will reach $500 million in 6 years.

About Tribe Mediterranean Foods:
Based in Taunton, Massachusetts, Tribe Mediterranean Foods is the largest independent creator of Mediterranean food products that includes several flavors of hummus, tahini, tabouli and baba ganoush. Known for their flavorful and healthy qualities, Mediterranean foods have taken the United States by storm thanks, in large part, to the Tribe brand. In 1994 Tribe became category leader of hummus in America, and is largely responsible for the more than tenfold increase of U.S. hummus sales through 1997. As a result, Tribe's products are prominently displayed on store shelves from coast to coast throughout North America.

About Osem:
Osem Investments Limited and its subsidiaries engage in the production and distribution of food products in Israel. Its products primarily include snacks, soups, baked goods, pastas, sauces, ready-made cakes, chocolate, breakfast cereal, juice concentrates, shelf-stable deserts, coffee, canned goods, frozen meat and meat substitute products, spreads, chilled meat and poultry products, and ice creams. The company also offers its products in the United States and Europe. Osem Investments was co-founded by Ivgen Propper, Franz Klein, Yaakov Lorsh, Azriel Wihl, Shimshon Wilmersdorf, Moshe Katzman, and Eliyahu Harpak. The company was founded in 1942 and is based in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Osem Investments Limited is a subsidiary of Nestlé SA.


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