Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) cofounder and chairman Marius Nacht sold 5.5% of Check Point's shares in 2016, leaving him with a 6.8% stake in the company, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission by Nacht and Check Point. Nacht's sales, which apparently signal his intention to continue increasing and diversifying his business outside Check Point, gave him $800 million. The shares he retained are worth $1.12 billion.
The share of Check Point, which provides Internet and information security solutions, was traded in a $75-88 range in 2016. Since the company published its 2016 financial statements last week, with profits outperforming the analysts' expectations, Check Point's share price has jumped 12% to $100, reflecting a $17.3 billion market cap for the company.
Together with Gil Shwed and Shlomo Kramer, Nacht founded Check Point in 1993 when he was 31. Born in Romania, he immigrated to Israel at age 3 and grew up in Ashkelon in a neighborhood he described in a rare "Globes" interview as "pretty tough." He joined the IDF Talpiot scientific training program when he was 18. He studied physics and mathematics, earning a MSc in electrical engineering and communications system from Tel Aviv University.
The biomed angel
In recent years, together with his work at Check Point, Nacht became involved in investment business in other fields. In November 2016, he founded an estimated $100 million fund for investing in life science companies. Reuters reported that Nacht had invested his own money in 10 startups to date, and now wanted to channel this activity into an official fund.
Nacht told Reuters, "I’m wishing for the creation of another Teva or another Check Point in healthcare. We are not here to sell out, we are really here to try ... and create a big company in the field of biomed in Israel." Nacht added that the fund would invest in companies with the potential of becoming self-sufficient.
One of the companies Nacht has already invested in is DayTwo, a company providing personalized nutrition based on the composition of intestinal bacteria, which is unique to each individual. DayTwo was founded at Nacht's initiative, based on the findings of a Weizmann Institute research in which participated. He has also invested in Regenera Pharma, partially owned by InterCure Ltd. (TASE: INCR-L). Regenera has developed a drug from a botanical source preventing nerve damage in degenerative diseases. The product is currently undergoing clinical trials for treatment of non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), a rare optic disease.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on February 27, 2017
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