Rafael Buys 50 Percent Stake in Aerospace Engineering Company Kanfit
CTech – Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has acquired a 50 percent stake in Israeli aerospace engineering company Kanfit, Rafael announced Tuesday. The deal is valued at tens of millions of shekels, Rafael said. Kanfit will now become a subsidiary of Rafael.
Founded in 1986, Kanfit is considered a leading global supplier for UAV components. The company manufactures primary and detailed parts, sub-assemblies, and ready-to-fly assemblies across the entire production chain. Kanfit is a private company owned by Shai and Shula Fine, who will keep a 50 percent stake in the company following the deal.
Earlier this month, Rafael and its partner, Israeli businessman Avihai Stolero, completed the acquisition of drone-maker Aeronautics, leading the latter to delist from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The deal, valued at NIS 850 million (approximately $243.5 million), leaves each partner with a 50 percent stake in Aeronautics.
Until recently, Rafael has mostly focused on advanced systems such as precision-guided missiles, air and missile defense systems, and naval defense systems. Prior to its acquisition of Aeronautics, the company had no activity in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market. The Aeronautics deal enabled Rafael to gain a foothold, now augmented by its stake in Kanfit.
Israeli defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a competitor of Rafael who also took part in the bidding for Aeronautics, is a major customer of Kanfit. Other customers include Rafael itself, Saikon, a subsidiary of Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems, the Boeing Company, and Lockheed Martin.