Shlomo Kramer, the entrepreneur behind Trusteer, is consolidating his status as a data security guru who has learned how to produce companies one after another and pretty quickly generate substantial value for anyone who believes in his vision. Trusteer, which was founded six years ago, and is now being sold to IBM for some $700 million, is, as far as is known, the third security company that Kramer has founded, after Israeli giant Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) and after Imperva Inc. (NYSE: ), which has been floated on the US capital market.
Kramer (47) began his career in this field as one of the threesome that founded Check Point, together with Gil Shwed (who is still the company's CEO and chairman) and Marius Nacht (who is its vice chairman). Twenty years ago, when the three were in their twenties, they founded the company that developed the firewall, and the rest is history. Check Point, which has a current market cap of $11.3 billion, became a world leader in protecting the information that flows round the Internet, and a flagship of Israel's high-tech industry.
Kramer, who was the least well known of the three founders, did not stay with Check Point. In 1998, just two years after the Wall Street IPO, he left the company, it is said on a discordant note because of professional differences of opinion with Shwed.
During his time at Check Point and afterwards, Kramer gradually realized all of his stake in the company, and, according to "Globes'" estimate, wound up with cash to the tune of some $500 million, making him one of the wealthiest people in Israel.
This capital went to building the next "Check Points", the first being Imperva, which was founded in 2002. The company, which develops enterprise database security solutions, was floated on Wall Street in November 2011, and quickly became hot property. The stock, which was floated at $18 per share, is currently traded at $47.45, giving Imperva a market cap of $1.1 billion, and a return of 164% on the IPO price. Kramer, who is CEO of Imperva, holds a 14.7% in the company (including options), worth $162 million.
As far as is known, as a result of the sale of Trusteer, Kramer will receive some $240 million cash, making him one of the most liquid business people in Israel.
Kramer is also a small shareholder in Palo Alto, the data security company set up by another ex-Check Point person, Nir Zuk. Kramer owns 1.5% of the company, which has a market cap of $3.5 billion, so that his stake is worth about $53 million. It is worth mentioning that up to now he has not sold a single share of either Imperva or Palo Alto.
So Kramer, not yet 50, is worth at least NIS 3 billion, or about $1 billion (gross, before tax). "Forbes" will have to take note.
Trusteer CEO Mickey Boodaei, who was Kramer's partner in founding Imperva, will also do well out of the acquisition. His share of the deal price is some $151 million. But while Kramer may well avoid paying local tax on the transaction, which would amount to $64.2 million, because his shares are held via a company registered in Iceland, Boodaei will probably face a $45.3 million tax bill in Israel.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 15, 2013
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