The Central Bottling Company (Coca Cola Israel) is buying out the Tara Dairy Cooperative for US$39m.

Tara, the third-largest dairy in Israel with 2002 sales of over $100m, trails market leaders Tnuva and Strauss. Central Bottling Company president Ron Kobrovsky is quoted in Haaretz as saying that the acquisition was designed “to expand our company’s product range and get into the dairy sector, mainly the milk-based beverages which is becoming a growing sector on the local market.”

The present structure, in which Tara was controlled by 33 families in tandem, “has hampered business development in the past.” Tara chairman Tova Avrech is quoted saying that the agreement with Coca Cola Israel “will drive Tara Dairies forward and contribute to advancing its marketing and commercial activities”.