TechnoPlus prepares for sale of CompuLab

Hen Katz, photo: Einat Levron

The investment firm owns a 15% stake in the Israeli fanless computer development company CompuLab.

Based on the proposals on the agenda for the general meeting due to convene next month, the TechnoPlus Ventures Ltd. (TASE:TNPV) investment company is preparing for a possible CompuLab computer company exit, in which TechnoPlus has a 14.62% stake.

CompuLab is TechnoPlus' main holding, with an investment of $1.25 million and a $6.93 million book-registered fair value, as of the end of the first quarter, 2016.

TechnoPlus, traded at a value of only NIS 17 million, requests shareholders to approve grants for executives, contingent on CompuLab 'making an exit'. Relevant scenarios will include an offering on any stock exchange, merging into a stock exchange shell, company acquisition or merger with another company.

In such cases, TechnoPlus executives will receive the following grants: CEO Hen Katz will receive 1.85% from the company’s compensation, VP Finance Noa Matzliach will receive 0.4%, Chairman Yanir Farber (the son-in-law of Menachem Einan, one of TechnoPlus' shareholders), will receive 1.5% and Vice Chairman Eyal Rozenthal will receive 1.25%. Overall, executives will receive 5% of compensation from the exit if and when it takes place.

TechnoPlus is controlled by the veteran Infinity fund (20.3%); Shlomo Tisser, owner of the Villar Group real estate firm (13.3%); Eto Management, controlled by Erez Rozenbuch and Tomer Cheifetz (11.13%); and the Einan family EFG Investments (10.2%).

While TechnoPlus has maintained a low profile during the past few years, it has recently hit the headlines with the failed Safe-T cyber company Tel Aviv Stock Exchange IPO. TechnoPlus and its owners participated in the funding of the Safe-T IPO together with investors Dror Atzmon and Shlomi Shani. The offering eventually failed after encountering a difficult market. Safe-T was merged into stock market shell Matrat Mizug and is currently traded at fair value of NIS 76 million.

CompuLab deals with the development of fanless computers. In 2014, the company had $23 million revenue, a decrease of 23% from 2013 (TechnoPlus reported on CompuLab data for the last time in 2014). This drop is one of the reasons why no CompuLab offering was made on NASDAQ in 2014. On the other hand, the company's 2014 profit increased by 7%, to $1.4 million, compared with 2013. The company has 80 employees.

In January 2016, CompuLab launched Airtop, a computer which is supposed to become its flagship product. This is a powerful computer which can be used as a workstation, server or gaming computer and employs fanless cooling.

The company deals with two additional fields: miniature PCs and computer-on-modules, integrated into other devices such as medical instruments, transportation and military systems, robotics and more. According to TechnoPlus' statements, its market is estimated at several hundreds of millions of dollars and has increased tenfold since 2012.

CompuLab was one of the first companies to have developed a miniature computer. At present, it competes with large computer manufacturers such as Intel, Apple and Asus (with models such as Mac mini or Intel NUC), which mostly use fans. CompuLab says that fanless computers, such as the ones it produces, are more reliable, efficient and durable and require less maintenance.

TechnoPlus said that CompuLab has examined a possible offering in the past, but that now all options are open, including a strategic agreement. TechnoPlus' 2015 statements say that offering is still on the agenda, but is not certain to take place.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 20, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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Hen Katz, photo: Einat Levron
Hen Katz, photo: Einat Levron
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