Israel Cleantech Ventures Funds has acquired the 11% stake of sewage treatment solutions developer AqWise - Wise Water Technologies Ltd. from its founders, CTO Ronen Shechter and Eytan Levy, at a value of $10 million.
AqWise CEO Elad Frenkel said, "This investment means that three institutional investors now stand behind the company: AHMSA, Elron, and Israel Cleantech." Mexican mining conglomerate Altos Hornos de Mexico SA de CV (AHMSA), owns 55% of AqWise, Elron Electronic Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: ELRN; TASE: ELRN) owns 34% and Israel Cleantech now owns 11%.
This will not be Israel Cleantech's final investment in AqWise, which is in the late stages of an internal financial financing round amounting to a few million dollars from its current investors. The company is also close to signing contracts worth several million dollars with customers in Israel, Europe, the US, and Latin America.
"Globes": Do you plan to raise capital from external sources?
Frenkel: "Elron is a strategic investor, not merely a financial one. Israel Cleantech and AHMSA are also both strategic investors. That's why we don’t need outside money right now. They want to stand behind the company and make it succeed."
AqWise was founded in 2000. It specializes in the upgrading of wastewater treatment plants through the Attached Growth Airlift Reactor (AGAR) process, a method for biologically increasing water treatment capacity using biofilm carriers. The company posted a fourth quarter loss after posting profits in the preceding quarters, but the company has installed dozens of commercial units around the world, and its global target market is estimated at more than a $1 billion a year, and it is growing.
AqWise has an annual turnover of a few million dollars, and has doubled its sales every year for the past three years.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 22, 2008
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