The Jerusalem Development Authority today announced the selection of LR Group as franchise holder for establishing a fund with the Authority's support. LR has now begun raising $130 million for the fund, including a $5 million grant from the Authority, which will also become a limited partner in the fund. LR said that some of the money had already been guaranteed by a leading Chinese corporation and by Israeli concerns.
LR develops large projects around the world, including real estate, infrastructure, hospital construction, and training workers in agriculture. This is the group's first life sciences investment fund, but it has already built the BioJerusalem work site for life sciences companies at a cost of tens of millions of dollars, so the connection is a natural one.
"Up until now, we have given companies direct grants to support their activity in Jerusalem," says Jerusalem Development Authority CEO Eyal Haimovsky. "While the maximum direct grant to a biotech company is $5 million, with the help of the fund's leverage, a company can obtain a 50% higher grant."
LR VP business development Yaki Zinger, founder of the fund on behalf of the group, said, "I began establishing the fund 18 months ago. The founding of BioJerusalem was actually a result of the fund's work. From our talks with investors, we saw that an ecosystem for facilitating feasibility assessment and quick founding of companies was needed. Right now, we don't expect a connection between BioJerusalem and the fund, except for the fact that they are both in Jerusalem and are supported by LR, the Jerusalem municipality, and the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, but I believe that the fund will also consider an investment in the companies operating in BioJerusalem." Zinger noted that the fund would be able to complete the closure of the first fund and begin operating within a few months. The amount of money that the company undertook to invest in Jerusalem was not disclosed.
Minister of Environmental Protection and Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Zeev Elkin said, "In recent years, we have taken intensive action to turn Jerusalem into one of the world's fastest growing high-tech ecosystems. One of the new tasks we have undertaken in the next five years in the framework of Jerusalem's economic development strategy is to also make it one of the world's leading cities in the life sciences."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 19, 2018
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018