Verbit has $100m exposure to SVB

Tom Livne credit: Arik Sultan
Tom Livne credit: Arik Sultan

Executives at Verbit discussed withdrawing the money and transferring it to an Israeli bank account but CEO Tom Livne refused out of solidarity with the bank and opposition to the judicial overhaul. a source told "Globes."

Sources have told "Globes" that among the many Israeli tech companies receiving banking services from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is AI transcription and captioning company Verbit, which had a balance of $100 million in the US bank that collapsed over the weekend. When the bank's share price began to plunge, senior executives at Verbit discussed the possibility of withdrawing the money and returning it to an Israeli bank account but CEO Tom Livne refused.

A source close to the company told "Globes," "Livne refused to withdraw the money when the fall started and it was still possible, out of belief in the bank and as a sign of solidarity with its situation and because of opposition to the judicial coup in Israel."

Sources close to the company insist that the collapse is nothing to get excited about and that the CEO Tom Livne behaved like a leader.

A source said, "A leader needs to have courage, determination and patience. We have $100 million there, but we have raised $600 million. From our point of view, this is a slight bump in the car wing, when the bank has already made it clear that it has a repayment capacity of at least 87%. Even if we lose $15 million, that is a price that it is worth paying for solidarity. The US government has already said that it will help the bank. CEO Livne is the Israeli Elon Musk, and now he has put out feelers to acquire the bank for billions of dollars together with a consortium of investors."

The source added, "Bibi's supporters are just making noise and looking for somewhere to attack. We did not take any money out of the country after Livne's interview. The money was not in Israel to begin with, and it is dispersed among different banks abroad."

In February Livne announced that following the government's plan to move forward with the judicial overhaul, he had decided to move the company's activities abroad and stop paying taxes in Israel, as a protest against the reform. According to him, if they would transfer their money abroad, the leaders in Israel would take them seriously.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on March 12, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Tom Livne credit: Arik Sultan
Tom Livne credit: Arik Sultan
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