Landa mulls raising up to $200m for nanometric ink co

Market sources believe Benny Landa will try to raise the money from foreign private equity funds at a $1 billion company value.

Benny Landa is considering raising $100-200 million for his nanographic printing company, Landa Digital Printing, six months after unveiling the technology. The financing, if it is carried out, will probably come from large foreign private equity funds with the wherewithal to provide such amounts. Landa will reportedly hold the financing round at a company value of $1 billion for the company, a unit of Landa Corporation.

In April, Landa Digital Printing returned to the digital printing business at the Drupa 2012 Print Media Fair, where he presented the nanometric digital printing technology. His development, based on nanometer-sized ink, provides high printing efficiency and quality, and targets the commercial print industry, 90% of which still does not use digital printing, due to its high cost and lower quality.

Landa Digital Printing plans to offer six kinds of printers. For Landa, a veteran digital printer, raising capital to support technology ventures is nothing new. When he founded Indigo, he invested in R&D for 15 years before the company began production. In 1993, he unveiled the company's simple solution for the printing of digital files, and changed the printing industry.

Shortly afterwards, Indigo held an IPO on Nasdaq at $1 billion, the value that Landa is seeking for his new venture. Indigo's market cap rose quickly, until problems emerged, causing its value to plummet, upsetting investors, and in 2002, Landa sold the company to Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) for $720 million, in one of the most successful exits by an Israeli high-tech company.

The experience with Indigo left Landa with mixed feelings about exposure to stock markets, especially for secrecy-ridden R&D operations. Exposing Landa Digital Printing new printing solutions has been relatively successful as far as he was concerned. He claims that the company obtained orders for hundreds of printers, and that down payments were paid for some of them, even though no deliveries will be made before late 2013.

Assuming that each printer costs $1-2 million, Landa Digital Printing's potential revenue from the orders, if they actually become sales, could exceed $500 million, which can support a $1 billion valuation.

Landa Digital Printing is raising capital because of the next stage in its life. Landa, who made qua substantial amount of money during his Indigo days, personally financed the company through Landa Labs. With the move on to large-scale production and marketing, he needs more investment. On the agenda are the building of at least one ink plant in Israel, as Indigo did, and possibly plants in other countries, too. Landa has said that he wants to become a leader in the new printing technology and market.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 15, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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