TEL AVIV: Mexican industrial group Mexichem is establishing an innovation hub in Israel, constructing on this 12 months’s acquisition of Israeli drip irrigation pioneer Netafim.
The corporate has a crew scouting for know-how and start-ups that match Mexichem’s major companies – constructing and infrastructure, agriculture and knowledge communications and fundamental supplies, Chief Government Daniel Martinez-Valle mentioned.
The hub can even assist develop new enterprise fashions for the corporate’s prospects and look at funding alternatives for Mexichem’s new company enterprise capital fund.
“Israel shall be a major supply of offers,” Martinez-Valle advised Reuters on Wednesday throughout a visit to Israel.
He declined to offer monetary particulars however mentioned this is able to be a major funding precedence for the following 5 years, including: “Israel is the precedence for constructing innovation.”
In February, Mexichem acquired 80 % of Netafim, the world’s largest supplier of drip irrigation techniques, for US$1.5 billion in money and debt. The remainder of Netafim, which has a 30 % market share, is held by Kibbutz Hatzerim.
Netafim and the brand new innovation hub will work intently collectively. Each are a part of Mexichem’s drive to handle international challenges equivalent to water shortage and flooding.
Martinez-Valle mentioned that regardless of current volatility in monetary markets he was “very optimistic for the quick and long run of the corporate”.
In mid-year Mexichem raised its 2018 outlook for development in EBITDA (earnings earlier than curiosity, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to 25-30 % from 20-25 % forecast at the start of the 12 months.
“At present we really feel optimistic we’ll fall inside this vary by the top of the 12 months,” he mentioned.
EBITDA in 2017 was US$1.1 billion.
The CEO mentioned he doesn’t foresee any main impression from international commerce wars on the corporate’s companies. Mexichem operates in 110 international locations, with Mexico accounting for 11 % of its enterprise and the US 20 %.
Netafim had EBITDA of US$133 million in 2017 on gross sales of US$949 million. Its CEO Ran Maidan mentioned on Wednesday that in 2019 he expects double-digit EBITDA development as Netafim capitalises on Mexichem’s robust presence in Mexico, Brazil and different Latin American international locations.
Netafim is collaborating with Mexichem to enhance the Mexican firm’s present water distribution enterprise whereas additionally reaching new prospects, he mentioned.
Netafim lately launched its administration system that ensures crops obtain the correct quantity of water and fertilisers. “It allows a farmer virtually to develop his crops on his cellphone,” Maidan mentioned.
(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Modifying by Adrian Croft)