The long list of companies owned by tycoon Nochi Dankner and the Livnat family includes a lot of construction firms. Now they want to buy a company that supplies these firms with raw materials, Hanson Israel, for several hundred-million shekels.
Hanson is the second-biggest supplier of heavy building materials in Israel, after Readymix Industries.
For the last three months, Antitrust Commissioner Ronit Kan has been studying the proposed acquisition. She is supposed to announce her decision within days.
On the one hand, Dankner and the Livnats have tremendous clout in the construction industry. On the other hand, if Kan rules against the deal, Hanson could simply be bought by another of the dominant companies, such as Shapir Engineering - which is among other things the third biggest supplier of heavy building materials.
All three, Readymix, Hanson and Shapir, own gravel quarries, cement plants and fleets of trucks.
Hanson is owned by the German company HeidelbergCement, one of the biggest suppliers of building materials in the world. Its owners suffered badly during the global economic crisis. In January 2009 the company was badly rocked by the apparent suicide of its controlling shareholder, Adolf Merckle.
Hanson Israel is not believed to have been hurt by the troubles. But Heidelberg decided to sell it anyway, stating that the sale was pursuant to its "development plans."