Sky fund to buy control of AL Filter

Zvi Yochman Photo: Yossi Cohen

The fund is backing Gideon Aloni in his dispute with his son and brother.

A bitter struggle in the family that founded Ashdod-based company AL Filter recently ended after one of the founders, Gideon Aloni, announced that he would acquire the 66% holdings in the company of his son Dror and his twin brother Ehud in the auto filters company for NIS 60 million, sources inform "Globes."

Private equity fund Sky, led by partners Zvi Yochman and Nir Dagan, is expected to provide the financing for the purchase of the shares, which reflects a NIS 90 million value for AL Filter, and which will make Sky the controlling shareholder in AL Filter.

The struggle with the company's founding family began two and half years ago when negotiations with several of Israel's leading private equity funds for the sale of the company were reported in "Globes." Gideon Aloni opposed the sale, while Ehud Aloni and CEO Dror Aloni supported it.

As a result of the dispute between the parties, Ehud and Dror Aloni used a buy me buy you (BMBY) mechanism to acquire Gideon Aloni's 33% stake. Gideon Aloni opposed this mechanism, however, and the dispute between the parties, which interfered with the management of AL Filter, went to arbitration. The arbitrator recently ruled that the BMBY mechanism was valid, and following the ruling, Gideon Aloni is now due to exercise his right to acquire ownership of the company with financial backing from Sky.

The cases of AL Filter highlights the growing competition between local private equity funds over topnotch industrial companies. As revealed two years ago by "Globes," most of the leading investment funds in Israel expressed interest in acquiring the company - a competition that Sky appears to have won.

AL Filter, founded in 1965, specializes in the production of a broad range of high-quality filters for the auto industry, including fuel, oil, and air filters. According to the company's website, it has over 1,450 employees at its sites in Israel, the US, Bulgaria, China, and Japan. The website adds that the company has a catalogue of more than 150,000 auto applications, and "there is a good chance that there is already one of our filters in your car."

The list of the company's customers includes prominent global auto manufacturers. It also manufactures filters for military, industrial, and agricultural uses. AL Filter's annual sales turnover is estimated at €90 million, and its debt totals €20 million.

Sky, which was founded in 2005, currently manages over $450 million in three funds. The managing partners are Yochman, Dagan, Amir Erben, Dr. Avraham Ortal, Zion Agiv, Liat Benyamini, Ron Hochman, and Maytal Heller.

The fund's prominent investments include Schnapp Batteries Ltd. (TASE: SHNP), Hamashbir Agriculture, Marina Galil Mushrooms, iDigital, Groupon, and S. AL. Group. Sky's prominent exits include Barak-Netvision, IDB Tourism, Natali-Seculife, and Spectronix.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - - on November 7, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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Zvi Yochman Photo: Yossi Cohen
Zvi Yochman Photo: Yossi Cohen
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