By Aaron Priel

The Central Bottling Company - Coca Cola Israel, is reportedly planning to merge Carlsberg Israel, which it controls, with Carmel-Mizrahi, Israel's largest and oldest winery. The plan is to create a new company in which each party will own 50%.

The merger calls for converting Carmel-Mizrahi from an agricultural cooperative to a limited company. The winery is currently controlled by a large number of independent vintners, as reported in Globes. Although neither party commented directly on the merger plans, the report notes that Coca Cola Israel said that it plans to enter the wine market as part of its total beverage strategy "to have a presence in every drink sector." Whereas Carmel-Mizrahi commented that the "winery has been busy in recent months in building its business strategy, including entering into complementary sectors."