IBM – 11th Acquisition of Israeli Companies

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #159, February 02, 2012

1.  Israel’s GDP growth – 4.8% in 2011, 4.8% - 2010, 0.8% - 2009, 4% - 2008, 5.5% - 2007.  OECD – 1.9% in 2011.  Israel’s unemployment – 5.6% in 2011.  OECD – 8% (Globes, Dec. 30, 2011).

2.  IBM acquired Israel’s WorkLight for $60MN, its 11th Israeli acquisition. IBM employs 1,100 persons in its R&D centers in Israel (Globes business daily, Feb. 1, 2012).  Canada’s ATX acquired Israel’s Arcos for $26MN (Globes, Feb. 2).  Nestle acquired 5% of Israel’s Osem for $100MN, controlling 58% of Osem’s equity (Feb. 2).  America’s OCZ acquired israel’s SanRad for $15MN (Jan. 11). 

3.  OECD’s Education at Glance, 2011 ranks Israel as the second most educated country in the world with 45% of Israelis possessing a post-high school degree.  Israel trails only Canada and is ahead of Japan, USA, New Zealand, So. Korea, Norway, UK, Australia and Finland (Ha’aretz, Feb. 1).

4.  $2.14BN investments in Israel’s high tech during 2011 - 25% from Israeli investors - compared with $1.3BN in 2010, $1.1BN in 2009, $2BN in 2008 (on the eve of the “meltdown”) and $1.8BN in 2007 (Globes, January 25). 

5.  GE’s Healthymagination Fund participated in a round of private placement by Israel’s CheckUp – its first Israeli investment.  GE Healthcare established three R&D centers in Israel (imaging, nuclear medicine, computers) through the acquisition of three Israeli companies, in addition to a fourth acquisition and three R&D and marketing agreements with Israeli companies (Globes, Feb. 2). 

6.  China’s Oriental Fortun Capital and Kaiwu Capital invest $36MN in Israel’s access (Globes, Jan. 10). Time Warner participated in a $10MN round of private placement by Israel’s WeFi (Globes, Jan. 23).  Battery Ventures participated in a $3.3MN round in Israel’s DigiFlex (Globes, Dec. 27). 

7.  Notwithstanding unprecedented political tension, Israel-Turkey trade volume expanded by 26% during 2011 - $4BN divided equally between exports (34% increase) and imports ($21% hike).