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Fosun International (HKSE: 0656), one of China’s largest investment firms chaired by billionaire Guo Guangchang, has agreed to acquire Israeli cosmetics company Ahava Dead Sea Labs from all of its current shareholders, for NIS 290 million ($77 million). As of 2015, Ahava was controlled by Gaon Holdings, the Livnat family and Shamrock Holdings who together owned 53% of the company; Kibbutz Mitzpeh Shalem held 35%, Kibbutz Kalia 5.8%, and a group of local kibbutzim another 6.7%. Fosun vice chairman and CEO Liang Xinjun and Gaon Holdings CEO Guy Regev signed the deal at a special event in Jerusalem’s David Citadel Hotel, which was witnessed by Israeli government officials. The Ahava brand can be found in over 30 countries in the world’s leading department stores, perfumeries and chains. “The deal comes after Fosun in February dropped a plan to buy 52% of Israeli insurer Phoenix Holdings from Delek Group Ltd. for $461 million,” commented The Wall Street Journal reporters Wei Guand and Orr Hirschauge. “Fosun Chairman Guo Guangchang disappeared briefly in December for questioning by Chinese authorities as part of a series of investigations that have shaken the country’s business elite. That disappearance raised questions about Fosun’s ability to continue to cut aggressive deals abroad.” Fosun International Limited engages in pharmaceutical and healthcare, property development, iron and steel products, mining, asset management, and insurance businesses primarily in Mainland China and Hong Kong. The company was founded in 1992 and is based in Shanghai, China. Fosun International Limited operates as a subsidiary of Fosun Holdings Limited. Gaon Holdings, a public company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, was established in 1998 by the late Benny Gaon, one of Israel’s most prominent and respected captains of industry. Gaon Holdings is an operational holdings company that set for itself the goal of leading the development and management of the Israeli water industry, as well as the marketing of water products and projects throughout the world. The group specializes in providing management, control and command solutions for the supply and conveyance of water, gas and fluids to both municipal and industrial bodies, both in Israel and worldwide. The company operates by means of some of the leading industrial companies and factories in Israel. Gaon also has a partnership stake in the Aqua Agro VC fund, which invests in startup companies in the fields of water and renewable energies. The chairman of Gaon Holdings is Harel Beit-On, managing partner and founder of Viola Private Equity, which led an investment consortium that acquired control of Gaon Holdings in 2013. ahava_beauty_before_age Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories was founded in 1988 to study the powerful, rejuvenating minerals found in the Dead Sea. Since then AHAVA has grown to become the definitive Dead Sea mineral beauty expert. the company is based in Holon, Israel. Ahava is one of several Israeli cosmetics companies researching nanotechnology applications. The company has established an R&D program to research nanoemulsion and nanosuspension with mud nanoparticles. Ahava invests heavily in research, development and testing to study the therapeutic effectiveness of Dead Sea minerals and other elements native to the region on the skin. Its scientists and researchers work in close cooperation with leading scientific centers in Israel and Europe. Clinical tests, independently confirmed and published in major scientific journals, prove the revitalizing effects of AHAVA’s mineral and plant-based products. Ahava operates its own laboratory for cell and organ culture. It is the coordinator of SkinTreat (FP-7) and a partner in nanoReTox (FP-7) founded by Cellage, a European research consortium the specializes in skin cellular Ageing (FP-5).[24] Ahava developed a laboratory model for in-vitro NP screening that is employed for studying inflammatory processes using UV- irradiated human skin organ cultures. Ahava manufactures skin care products made of mud and mineral-based compounds from the Dead Sea. The company has flagship stores in Israel, Germany, Hungary, South Korea, the Philippines and Singapore. As of 2015, Ahava income was more than US$150 million a year. The company is said to have 200 employees, 180 of them in Israel. Ziva Gilad, a spa technician, came up with the idea of marketing Dead Sea mud after watching women tourists scooping up the mud to take home. Ahava was founded in 1988 as a single stand selling bottles of body scrub to tourists, generating $1 million that year. In the United States, the largest overseas market for Ahava products, the company has distribution deals with Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom and the beauty-supply chain Ulta. ahava_sea_kissed In 2009, Shamrock Holdings, the Walt Disney Family’s investment arm, acquired 20% of Ahava. As of 2010, Ahava is the only cosmetics company licensed by the Israeli government to mine raw materials at the Dead Sea. On the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, there are approximately fifty small companies producing cosmetics, but only 15 have a global presence. Israel has imported raw materials for its Dead Sea mud cosmetics from Jordan since 1994. Ahava product lines include a basic product for all skin types; other products for dry, sensitive skin and for men’s skin; and anti-aging products for face and body. Product lines include hand cream, foot cream, facial cleanser, body milk, facial nourishing cream, facial moisturizer, moisturizing shower cream and body cream. Some products claim to use citrus and citrus products as a source of vitamins and minerals. Dead Sea mud, alone or in combination with other ingredients, is believed to have benefits for deep cleansing and stimulation of the skin. Minerals extracted from Dead Sea water such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, are said to improve the metabolism, stimulate circulation and aid in the natural repair of cells. Ahava Dermud range of skincare products has been shown to have protective, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can antagonize biological effects of UVB radiation on skin, reducing skin photodamage and photoaging, and reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in skin pathologies. Therapy with mud packs for conditions such as osteoarthritis is relatively expensive and requires the assistance of a therapist and a treatment room. In the wake of these limitations, Ahava developed mud compresses used in the home which are heated in a microwave oven or a pot of hot water and placed over painful joints. A clinical research by the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, supported in part by a grant from “Ahava”, has concluded that the group treated with natural mud compresses had a reduction of 20% or more in Knee Osteoarthritis pain scores at treatment completion, at one month, and at three months, compared to the control group. Embracing the trend toward more natural ingredients in cosmetics, Ahava purifies its own water and, according to the company, employs minimally invasive techniques to harvest mud and minerals. Ingredients are not tested on animals and Ahava products are packaged in recyclable containers.]]>