China’s Fosun International Buys Majority Stakes in Israel’s Phoenix Insurance Company

Published Date : Jun 23, 2015

Majority stakes in Israel’s Phoenix Insurance Company has been sold to the Chinese business group Fosun International. The Phoenix Insurance Company is owned by Delek Group– the business conglomerate of Israeli business tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva. As per a statement provided to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Fosun International is to acquire 52.31% stake in Phoenix Insurance Company which operates in Israel, the U.S., and Europe. The acquisition deal is worth US$471 million. 

However, the workers at Phoenix are not happy with the acquisition and have stalled work. According to the union officials, a strike has been called upon after the company refused to discuss regarding distributing a percentage of the money it is expected to receive over the deal to the workers. The workers have said that their contracts mentioned such clause which the company is now refusing. The union officials have further revealed that the Delek Group has not responded to their demands to discuss the terms before the acquisition. 

The deal between Phoenix Insurance Company and Fosun International is the second major one between China and Israel in the past several days. Last week saw the acquisition of Israel’s Lumenis, a global company of medical laser technology by XIO Group of China. The deal was estimated to be worth US$510 million.

Industry experts mention that the sale of Phoenix was long expected as the parent company Delek Group has been selling assets to comply with the regulations on the size of the conglomerates. The Group owns around 25% share in the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields of Israel, and has also stakes in various energy-related assets in Israel’s economy. 

Fosun is among the largest business houses in China and has previously won many deals in Israel – the most famous were the acquisitions of the Israeli health technology firm Alma Lasers in the year 2013 and Check-Cap Pharmaceuticals in 2014.