2015 Israeli high-tech exits reach $862m

Avigdor Willenz

Acquisitions by Amazon, Microsoft, Dropbox and others have enriched many Israeli entrepreneurs in the first few weeks of this year.

2015 has begun with a flood of Israeli high-tech exits. Since the start of the year six acquisitions by US companies have totaled $862 million. In all of 2014, acquisitions of Israeli companies totaled $4.3 billion.

In the biggest of this month's deals, Amazon Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) acquired Yokne'am-based company Annapurna Labs for a reported $350-370 million. The biggest financial winner here was Avigdor Willenz who founded the company in 2011. This is Willenz's second baby having sold his first, Galileo, to Marvel in 2001 for $2.7 billion.

This time round, Willenz's stake in Annapurna Labs is worth an estimated $76.9-81.3 million. Other winners from the Annapurna Labs sale include seven parties at interest: Michal (Adina) Even-Zohar ($34.1-36.1 million); Dan Tokatli ($14.6-15.4 million); Yossi Sasson ($6-6.3 million); Zohar Gilon ($6-6.3 million); Kobi Neuman ($5.6-5.9 million); Prof. Yair Tauman ($5.4-5.7 million) and Shimon Weintraub ($5.1-5.4 million).

Text analysis company Equivio, which was sold to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) for $50-100 million was a major windfall for the three men who founded the company in 2004 - Amir Milo, Yiftach Ravid and Warwick Sharp, former employees of Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) and IBM Israel. CEO Milo had a 34% stake in Equivio, which translates to $17.3-34.7 million. VP Engineering Ravid had a 30.4% stake ($15.2-30.4 million), and VP Marketing Sharp will have to make do with ($9.7-19.4 million).

In this month's other exits: Software management technology company Red Bend Software was sold for $200 million to Harman International Industries Inc. (NYSE: HAR); mobile cloud document company CloudOn was acquired by DropBox for $100 million; enterprise fraud detection and prevention company Intellinx was acquired by Bottomline for $67 million; and app marketing developer Appoxee was acquired by Teradata (NYSE: TDC) for $25 million.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 25, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

Avigdor Willenz
Avigdor Willenz
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