Permira-Backed Netafim Hires Goldman Sachs to Lead Sale Process

Israel’s Netafim Ltd., which pioneered the drip-irrigation system, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to manage the potential sale of the company.

The company is also considering an initial public offering, a spokesman said in an emailed response to questions. Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit and CenterView Partners LLC are also advising on the deal.

Permira Holdings LLP, which is based in London and has 32 billion euros of committed capital, bought 61 percent of Netafim at an undisclosed price in 2011, with local press reports at the time valuing the company at $900 million. Kibbutz Hatzerim and Kibbutz Magal own 33 percent and six percent of Netafim, respectively.

The company may be valued at about $1.5 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Netafim developed its technology in the 1960’s, designed to administer small quantities of water directly to the root of plants. The company employs about 4,300 people, with sales of $850 million to more than 110 countries last year.

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