Members of Kibbutz Lochamei Hagetaot, located in the Western Galilee region in Israel, plan to sell a 23% stake in the Tivall food company to Osem Food Industries.

The kibbutz, which owns 49% of Tivall, a producer of vegetarian food products, is undergoing fundamental change and in the midst of a privatisation process, plans to exercise its option to sell Tivall’s shares to Osem, controlled by Swiss food giant Nestlé.

Under this plan, each of the 290 members of the kibbutz stand to get nearly NIS 600,000 (US$148,000). Members who oppose the plan maintain that the successful industrial enterprise serves “as a fuel for financing the changes at the kibbutz and as a financial safety net,” as reported in Haaretz.

Osem already holds 51% of Tivall, after paying US$9m in 1994 for 50% and an additional US$1.5m for another 1%, as well as investing US$4m in the operation of the plant. In 2002 Tivall reported net earnings amounting to NIS32m. According to the report, Tivall is valued at NIS 748m.