Koor Industries

   An umbrella organization for major industrial and craft concerns. It was established in 1944 as part of Solel Boneh, a construction concern whose aim was to develop heavy-industry factories. The establishment of Koor was part of the His-tadrut's general plan to ensure basic industry for the Yishuv that would maximize the use of existing raw materials, enable a planned distribution of the factories such that they would provide employment in development towns and areas, and help the balance of payments both by creating local products to replace imports and in supporting the export industry. Such an industry was also to be the basis for an independent security industry and a source of training for Jewish workers, and it was hoped that it would ensure the labor movement's special place in defining the direction and development of the economy in the future.
   In 1958, Solel Boneh was reorganized and divided into three companies: construction and public works throughout the country, construction and pavement abroad, and different types of industrial production. This made Koor an independent company, although still part of the group of companies owned by the Histadrut, which rapidly became the largest concern in Israel. Despite its status as Israel's largest conglomerate, Koor experienced severe economic difficulties in the late 1980s. It sold off various subsidiaries, closed unprofitable units, and defaulted on some bank loans. In the fall of 1991, banks in the United States and Israel, the government of Israel, and Hevrat Ovdim signed a financial restructuring agreement designed to rescue Koor. In the 1990s, large segments of the company were sold off to private investors in the context of the general trend toward privatizing the Israeli economy and the breaking-up of monopolies.
   See also Foreign Trade.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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