Israeli firm to build production facility in İzmir
by Kerim Ülker
ISTANBULJul 02, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Kerim Ülker
Jul 02, 2015 12:00 am
The first foreign investment from Israel in Turkey in more than five years will be in the industrial sector. Due to the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, diplomatic relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv almost came to a complete halt. However, Hamat Group, one of Israel's largest bathroom and kitchen equipment producers, announced that it will establish a production facility in Turkey. In a publication to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Hamat Group said the production facility will be located 40 kilometers away from the western Turkish city of İzmir. For the new facility, a new firm will be established with the partnership of an undisclosed Turkish company, but the Israeli group will retain an 80 percent to 90 percent stake in the firm. According to the agreement, Hamat Group holds a buyout option that allows them to acquire the rest of the firm's shares from their Turkish partners in the future. The statement said the production process in Turkey is 30 percent to 40 percent cheaper compared to Israel, and the reason that they chose İzmir was the availability of qualified workers. More than 30,000 square meters of land will be purchased to construct the production facility, and future expansion, though not explicitly mentioned, was implied in the agreement. It was said that exports from İzmir will be made mainly to Europe but will include other zones as well. Hamat Group was founded in an apartment in Ashdod, Palestine, which dates back to 1944 when the Israeli state did not exist. The firm started production in 1951, and currently has 450 employees. Hamat Group's shares have been publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange since 1993.