Soros Fund Management LLC, an investment management firm founded by billionaire investor George Soros, and currently structured as a family office sold its stake in SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA), the maker of home beverage carbonation systems endorsed by Hollywood actress, Scarlett Johansson.
Soros Fund confirms sale of SodaStream stake
Michael Vachon, the spokesperson of Soros Fund Management, confirmed that the investment management firm is no longer a shareholder of SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA). Vachon refused to provide additional information regarding the reason and the timing of the decision of Soros Fund to sales its stake in the Israeli company.
Based on its regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in May, Soros Fund Management acquired $24.3 million worth of shares in SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA), which represented around 0.3% of the fund’s $9.3 billion stock portfolio in the first quarter.
The National, a newspaper in Abu Dhabi, was the first to report that Soros Fund Management already sold its stake in SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA). The company received criticism from ‘activists’ for operating its main factory in the West Bank town of Ma’ale Adumim.
International investors boycott Israel
According to the report, Soros Fund Management’s decision to sell its stake in SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) came after a number of big international investors joined the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement directed against the Jewish state of Israel.
Oman Barghouti, a Palestinian activist and co-founder of the BDS movement said, “After pressure from Soros partners in the region and the world, they dropped SodaStream and promised, in private letters so far, to issue guidelines similar to those adopted by the EU to prevent any investment into companies that sustain the Israeli occupation and settlements in particular.” Sodastream claims to be apolitical and argues that the factory provides many jobs to local Palestinian residents.
No word yet if Soros plans to drop his investments in other controversial companies, including DuPont.
SodaStream financial performance
During the second quarter, SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) reported earnings of $0.43 per diluted share on $$141.2 million in revenue. During the year-ago quarter, the company posted earnings of $0.63 per diluted share on $132.4 million in revenue.
Its June quarter financial results were higher than the $0.31 in earnings per share and $140.56 million in revenue expected by Wall Street analysts.