BuyMe founders make NIS 81m exit

Micha Berkuz / Photo: Anat Litvak

Mayer Group unit Teleclal, which already holds over 70% of BuyMe, is buying out the stakes of Micha Berkuz, Shai Darin, and Tal Zur.

The founders of digital gift cards company BuyMe have made a huge exit. The company's founders, Shai Darin, Micha Berkuz, and Tal Zuri, are selling their 32.45% stake at a valuation of NIS 250 million. The three will receive NIS 81 million cash. The buyer is Teleclal, which already controls BuyMe, and which is part of the Mayer group headed by Israel Kass and Jacob Shachar.

Once the deal is completed, Teleclal will own 97.3% of BuyMe. The remaining shares are owned by the company's first CEO, Roee Peled. The deal is believed to have been concluded in February, but to have been deferred because of the coronavirus crisis.

According to sources familiar with the company, BuyMe has reached annual sales in the hundreds of millions of shekels, and has been profitable for the past four years. Recently, however, according to the sources, differences of opinion arose between the founders and Teleclal over how to deal with changing market conditions, rising competition, and the technological challenges that the company faces, leading them to decide to part.

Two of the founders, Berkuz and Darin, moved to California three years ago to set up an equivalent gifts platform overseas called Giftedd. Berkuz is now CEO of that company and Zuri is CFO, and all three are now focused on promoting Gifted internationally. The sale of the BuyMe stake is their first exit.

BuyMe was founded in 2010. It is a platform for giving gifts through digital gift cards, gifts such as restaurant meals, vacations, shows, spa treatments, and more. Until the current deal, Teleclal controlled BuyMe through a subsidiary. In 2019, credit card company Isracard bought a stake in BuyMe through the purchase of 15% of the subsidiary, giving it an indirect 10% holding in BuyMe.

Teleclal is now buying the BuyMe founders' shares through another subsidiary, Telemesser, in which Isracard does not have a holding. Teleclal is 77% owned by the Mayer group, which imports Volvo, Honda, and Jaguar cars and Renault trucks to Israel, and 23% owned by its CEO and BuyMe chairman Yoav Ben-Yakar.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 26, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Micha Berkuz / Photo: Anat Litvak
Micha Berkuz / Photo: Anat Litvak
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