Postville, IA – The general director and one of the owners of Zoglobek company, Eli Zoglobek, is presently negotiating to purchase the Agriprocessors meat plant owned by the Rubashkin family, which supplies 60% of the American kosher meat market, and has a $400 million annual turnover. This is according to Israeli Hebrew Newspaper Sha’ah Tovah
The Zoglobek food processing plant in Israel is a privately owned, family business that earns over $100 million a year. It was founded in 1937 by Raymond and Yona Zoglobek, who were refugees from Nazi Germany. The first factory was established in Nahariya, and later a newer factory was built in Shlomi.
It is conjectured that Zoglobek will try to purchase the meat production plant at liquidation prices, perhaps only several tens of millions of dollars.
In the past, Eli Zoglobek mentioned that it is difficult to expand in a country as small as Israel and he was thinking of setting his sights abroad.
If Zoglobek purchases Agriprocessors, Zoglobek would be able to move a large part of his meat production abroad, which would save transportation costs for the profitable kosher meat line which he exports from Israel.
In Israel, Zoglobek maintains a regular kosher line of products, and also a smaller line of mehadrin kosher products. It also sells meatless kababs, patties, burgers, schnitzel, frankfurters, stir-fry ready meals, and nuggets.
Rubashkin’s thriving plant suffered sudden reverses after a federal raid of the plant last May discovered the company employed 400 illegals, some of whom were minors. The raid invited further federal scrutiny against the Rubashkins, and today the company faces a myriad of federal bank fraud and immigration-related charges. Chief executive Sholom Rubashkin was taken in custody in Iowa and faces heavy fines and a prison sentence if he is convicted.
Despite the Rubashkins offering the court $3.75 million for bail, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jon Scoles denied it, saying, among other reasons, he was concerned that Rubashkin might take advantage of Israel’s “Law of Return” which provides citizenship to any Jew who wants to settle in Israel, to abscond.
The heavy handed federal harassment, whose scope and stringent law enforcement went beyond anything which the feds did to any other American meat packing plant, forced the Rubashkins to declare bankruptcy proceedings in October.
Zoglobek had its own share of controversy when it was discovered in year 2000 that one of its Jewish plant managers Chanon Zoglobek, was pressuring the workers to become adherents of Scientology, a cult “religion” that has been discredited in dozens of countries.