Israeli blank check company ION Acquisition Group has raised $225 million in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of shares and warranties on the NYSE - more than originally planned. The offering could rise by another $34 million if the sole underwriters Cowen & Co. decide to exercise is options. At the same time, an extra $50 million will be injected into ION from the ION Crossover growth fund and The Phoenix Holdings Ltd. (TASE: PHOE1;PHOE5). On its first day of trading on Wall Street, ION's share price rose 4.6%.
ION's CEO is Gilad Shani and the chairman is Jonathan Kolber. Shani also heads the ION Crossover Fund, which takes late stage growth companies and helps them become publicly traded. Kolber is a partner in the Viola investment fund and a former CEO of Koor and sits on the board of several publicly traded companies. He is also a major shareholder in the Fiverr International (NYSE: FVRR) gig economy platform developer. Fiverr's share price hit a new peak on Friday and Kolber's stake is worth $627 million.
According to ION's prospectus, the company will focus on Israel's technological ecosystem where it will have a competitive advantage because of its Israeli roots and the connections of its management. ION says that its acquisition strategy will be to identify, acquire and build a company with Israeli connections in the field of technology and innovation.
Any potential investment could well be an Israeli tech company which is already a unicorn (having a valuation of more than $1 billion). A merger with such a company would save it the arduous process and heavy expenses of preparing for an IPO on Wall Street.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 4, 2020
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