China’s Sichuan Hebang Group signed an agreement in Beijing to acquire 51 percent of the Israeli Stockton Group for $90 million. The transaction is expected to close within 90 days, subject to regulatory approvals in China.

The Hebang Group is a publicly traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and is active in a variety of industrial activities, including the agrochemical industry. This is the Hebang Group’s first investment outside of China.

Hebang’s goal is to support Stockton’s growth as a global leader in environmentally-friendly bio-fungicides, and to list S.T.K. Stockton on Nasdaq in the next 2-5 years.

Stockton, a global crop protection company and leader in the development of botanical based bio=pesticides, was founded 20 years ago by Peter Tirosh and is managed by Ziv Tirosh. Its environmentally-friendly bio-fungicide Timorex Gold is sold in nearly 20 countries to treat a variety of crops, such as rice, coffee, grapes, tomatoes, bananas and other fruits and vegetables.

Stockton recently received a license to sell Timorex Gold in the United States. The investment from Hebang will allow Stockton to accelerate its penetration into this and additional markets, as well as to advance the development of other environmentally-friendly products through ongoing cooperation with research and academic institutes in Israel and around the world.

Ziv Tirosh, Stockton’s CEO, noted that the company is currently in the process of receiving regulatory approval in China, and the partnership with Hebang will assist with penetration into the Asian market.

According to the agreement, Stockton will continue to operate as an Israeli company with no change in its management, while the controlling shareholder of Hebang, He Zhenggang, will serve as the company’s chairman following the investment.

Guy Elitzur, Stockton’s VP of Finance and Operations, led the efforts, together with attorney Esther Koren from the law firm GKH. Hebang’s legal team included Joey Shabot from Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Israel office.

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