Netafim, the Israeli global leader in irrigation technology, has obtained a 5-year, $500-million financing facility from a lending syndicate led by Bank Hapoalim, including HSBC, Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank, Migdal Insurance and Financial Holdings, Union Bank of Israel, and Israel Discount Bank.

The financing is comprised of a $150 million long-term loan and  $350 million of revolving short term loans and lines of credit for working capital and project-related guarantees.

“The financing facility will be used for strategic growth purposes in developing markets such as India, China, Brazil and Africa, and will enable us to significantly increase our involvement in large irrigation projects,” said Ran Maidan, Netafim CEO. “The growing and continuous demand for irrigation solutions, particularly drip irrigation solutions, offers significant growth potential for Netafim. The financing facility will support us to reach our strategic goals, develop new products, promote technological innovation, and above all, strengthen our global leadership position.”

“The new facility will replace the existing arrangement.  By leveraging the current financial market situation, we improved our financing terms and increased our operational flexibility, said Lauri Hanover, Netafim CFO.

“The agricultural market in general, and drip irrigation in particular, sits at the heart of a number of important global issues,” Maidan added. “These include increasing demand for food, due to rapid world population growth, while the planet’s water and arable land resources are finite. At the same time, the agricultural sector is the world’s main consumer of water. As a result, there is a growing demand for better and advanced irrigation solutions and greater agricultural efficiency. These trends, along with Netafim’s unique global presence and innovative, high-quality products, present us with a significant growth opportunity. This financing agreement will enable us to realize such growth potential.”

Netafim is the global leader in drip and micro-irrigation solutions for a sustainable future. At the intersection of water, food security and arable land, drip irrigation enables growers to maximize food production with the lowest environment impact – this is sustainable productivity.

Founded and headquartered in Israel since 1965, Netafim is celebrating its 50-year anniversary under the theme “50 Years of Shaping the Future.” The Company recently announced it was chosen to participate in the world’s largest micro-irrigation project in the South West Indian state of Karnataka. The $60 million Ramthal (Marol) project covers nearly 30,000 acres of farmland, helping some 6,700 smallholders from 22 villages improve their productivity and livelihood, while saving 50% in water consumption.

On December 2011, the London-based private equity firm Permira and certain co-investors acquired a 61% stake of Netafim Ltd from Kibbutzim Hatzerim, Yiftach and Magal, and Israeli funds Markstone and Tene.

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