Dead Sea beauty company bought by leading China investment firm

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Dead Sea beauty company bought by leading China investment firm

Related tags Israel West bank Dead sea

Ahava, an Israeli skin care company, has been bought by Chinese investment giants Fosun Group for a reported USD 77 million.

With a product range that uses Dead Sea mud and mineral-based ingredients, Ahava (which means ‘love’ in Hebrew) has been enjoying strong global popularity; the company’s annual turnover has reportedly reached USD 50 million.  

The controlling share acquisition comes as the beauty brand, which labels its products as being made in Israel, has announced it will stop its controversial production at its plant in an Israeli settlement the West Bank and move operations to Israel.

Operations on the move

According to some commentators, the acquisition by the Chinese firm will allow Ahava to further distance itself from the controversy it’s met with in recent years due to the location of its plant in occupied territory in the West Bank.

Boycott campaigns, such as Code Pink, have decried the company as an example of an organisation within the West Bank which operates in breach of the Hague Convention, which forbids the exploitation of resources in occupied territory.

In March, apparently in a decision by its new Chinese ownership, Ahava announced it will move its plant to the Tamar Regional Council within Israel.

Strategic move

Dror Barzeli, chairman of Ahava's board, spoke of the strategic nature of the deal, which will allow the personal care brand greater access to China’s market.

"It's a really strategic acquisition. Definitely, there should be a lot of synergy between the new shareholders of Fosun group and Ahava​,” he said in an interview with Xinhua.

That's exactly the perfect partner and the perfect shareholder which really will help us to expand our international activity to China​.”

The company chairman spoke of his belief that consumer enthusiasm for natural skin care products is high in China.

"Definitely China should be a much bigger market for us based on our great portfolio of nature products and our good relationship with the Chinese consumers​," he said.

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