Coca-Cola Israel invests in Biomilk to develop cultivated milk products

Central Bottling Company to collaborate and invest $2 million in Israeli startup that makes milk from udder cells; half of funds will be invested on meeting of milestones

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

An illustrative image of a pizza (davit85; iStoch by Getty Images)
An illustrative image of a pizza (davit85; iStoch by Getty Images)

The Central Bottling Company, also known as Coca-Cola Israel, has signed a strategic agreement with Israeli startup Biomilk to invest and collaborate with the firm to develop products based on its cultured milk technology.

The Central Bottling Company is a private Israeli maker and distributor of soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and dairy products. The firm has the Israeli franchise of Coca-Cola products from Coca-Cola International.

Biomilk, whose shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said in a filing that the collaboration will help boost its R&D operations. Biomilk isolates the milk-producing cells from cows’ udders and transfers them to a bioreactor, where they are exposed to materials patented by the firm to produce milk, but without needing a cow in the final milk-producing process.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed between the parties, the Central Bottling Company will invest a total of $2 million in Biomilk. Half of the amount will be invested when a final agreement is signed, with the remaining $1 million to be invested when milestones are met.

For the initial investment, the Central Bottling Company will get shares, at a price of NIS 6.24 a share, and options in Biomilk. The Central Bottling company will provide Biomilk with access to its experts and the two firms will work together to further develop the cultured milk products, which will be then tested in the dairy manufacturing plant of the Central Bottling Company.

Biomilk shares advanced almost 3% on Monday, at 4:55 p.m. in Tel Aviv, after surging close to 8% earlier in the day.

The companies said they hope to formulate a final agreement within 60 days.

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