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October 11, 2013 12:45 pm

Barclays Capital: Israel Could See Several Billion-Dollar Deals in Coming Year

avatar by Zach Pontz

The logo for Waze, an Israeli start-up worth nearly a billion dollars. Photo: Waze.

Israel could be the beneficiary of several multi-billion dollar deals in the coming year, Barclays Capital technology M&A manager Richard Hardegree told Israel’s Globes.

“It’s possible that we’ll see two to three $1 billion-plus deals (in Israel) a year. We think that this is the direction, and that we’ll also see many transactions in the hundreds of millions,” Hardegree said ahead of his participation in the Globes-Ernst & Young Israel Journey Conference in Tel Aviv on October 17. “This is definitely a change from the sizes of the past. I think that it’s because Israeli companies are turning in the direction of bigger opportunities and the success of companies which have become market leaders.”

Hardegree said “growth areas at the moment are the Internet, SaaS, big data, and technical changes in storage” and that Israeli companies are viewed with a bullish enthusiasm among U.S. businesses.

“I spend a lot of time with Israeli companies and U.S. companies that are looking at Israeli companies. There are many opportunities in Israel and most big high-tech companies consider Israel as a source of opportunities, and they are constantly seeking acquisitions here,” he said.

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Globes writes: “Israeli high-tech seems to have taken a great leap forward in the past year. Even if deals the size of Waze Ltd., which was acquired by Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) for nearly $1 billion are exceptional, prominent acquisitions have climbed to $400-500 million in the past two years from $200-300 million beforehand.”

In another sign of interest in Israeli companies, earlier this week The Wall Street Journal reported that Samsung was studying the possible acquisition of Israeli mobile search engine developer and video-chat app Rounds.

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