Monday an agreement was signed in Beijing for the sale of 51 percent of the Israeli Stockton Group to the Chinese-based Hebang Group in return for a $90 million investment in the company.

The Hebang Group is a public Chinese company, traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and is active in a variety of industrial activities, including the agrochemical industry. This is the Hebang Group’s first investment outside of China.

Stockton, a global crop protection company and a developer of botanical based biopesticides was founded 20 years ago by Peter Tirosh. Managed by Ziv Tirosh the company developed its first environmentally-friendly biofungicide, Timorex Gold. The product is successfully sold in nearly 20 countries to treat a large number of crops, such as rice, coffee, grapes, tomatoes, bananas and a wide variety of other fruits and vegetables.

Hebang’s goal with this investment in Stockton is to “support Stockton’s growth as a global leader in environmentally-friendly biofungicides.”

Stockton recently received a license to sell Timorex Gold in the United States. The investment from Hebang will allow Stockton to accelerate its penetration into this and additional markets, as well as to advance the development of other environmentally-friendly products through ongoing cooperation with research and academic institutes in Israel and around the world, it was announced.

Ziv Tirosh, Stockton’s CEO, noted that the company is currently in the process of receiving regulatory approval in China, and the partnership with Hebang will assist with penetration into Asia.

According to the agreement, Stockton will continue to operate as an Israeli company with no change to its management, while the controlling shareholder of Hebang, He Zhenggang, will serve as the company’s chairman following the investment.

Guy Elitzur, Stockton’s VP of finance and operations, led the efforts, together with attorney Esther Koren (CPA) from the law firm GKH.

The transaction is expected to close within 90 days, subject to regulatory approvals in China.