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May 14, 2014 11:55 am

Israel Private Equity Deal Volume Up 141% in First Quarter to $349 Million

avatar by Joshua Levitt

20 shekel bill. Photo: WikiCommons.

20 shekel bill. Photo: WikiCommons.

Private equity funds invested $349 million in 12 Israeli deals in the first quarter of 2014, up 141% from the $145 million invested in 14 deals a year earlier, and up 51% from the $231 million invested in eight deals in the preceding quarter, Israel’s Globes business daily reported on Wednesday.

The largest transaction was a $115 million buyout of NSO Group Technologies Ltd. by U.S. private equity fund Francisco Partners LLC, while two additional deals exceeded $50 million each, Globes said.

The investment data was from the IVC Research Center and Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg & Co., Globes said.

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Globes said that Israeli private equity funds invested $202 million or 58% of total private equity investments in the first quarter, equivalent to a 21% fall from the $257 million three-year average, but almost three times the $68 million invested in the fourth quarter of 2013. The largest Israeli acquisition was the $73 million purchase of Gadot Chemical Tankers and Terminals Ltd. by Tene Investment Funds Ltd.

Four Israeli private equity funds raised a combined $398 in the first quarter, the report said.

“The Israeli M&A market continues to show signs of strength, and we have seen increased competition between private equity players and strategic acquirers,” said Rick Mann, GKH partner and head of M&A.

“Hesitation by local banks in offering acquisition financing may be making it more difficult for those potential acquirers seeking to leverage their transactions,” Mann said. “Israeli private equity funds continue to be a strong force in the market, and we may see more private equity funds targeting the local market.”

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