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SodaStream will move its West Bank factory after controversy

SodaStream will move its West Bank factory after controversy


The maker of a DIY seltzer and soda machine say the move is for "purely commercial" reasons

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In 2012, the Israeli company SodaStream — producer of a machine that makese seltzer water and soda at home — became an unlikely flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian relations. The company drew criticism for having a factory in an Israeli settlement of the West Bank, an area occupied by Israel but claimed by Palestinians. Next year, the company says, that factory will be gone.

The factory will move by 2015

SodaStream became the target of a boycott organized by activists, which also swept up the company's spokeswoman, Scarlett Johansson. Although a representative for SodaStream said the move will be for "purely commercial" reasons, the company has decided to shut down its current factory and open up shop in northern Israel by 2015, the Associated Press reports. The company told the AP that it received $20 million from the Israeli government for the move, and the new factory will become its "flagship manufacturing site."

Whether it's caused by controversy or commerce, the company needs some kind of new strategy: after some major retailers decided to pull its products from stores, the company's stock has tanked, falling more than 50 percent this year, while its revenue was down 41 percent in the most recent quarter.