Two of Israel’s major food companies Strauss and Elite have reportedly agreed to a share merger, ending weeks of speculation.


In an announcement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Elite confirmed reports it has negotiated a share swap with Strauss Dairies and Strauss Salads, which will give Elite control of the two Strauss units, reported Globes.


As part of the deal, Elite will acquire the Strauss family’s 80% stake in Strauss Dairies and its 100% stake in Strauss Salads. French dairy group Danone will keep its 20% stake in Strauss Dairies.


The Strauss group, which owns a 50.9% stake in Elite, is one of the country’s largest food groups. Its Strauss Ice Cream unit, which is 51% owned by Unilever, is not included in the merger deal.