OECD: Israel attracts foreign investors

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #197, August 22, 2014

1. The Gaza War has demonstrated the impressive performance of the Iron Dome short-range missile defense system, the Trophy active defense system for tanks and armed personnel carriers, and additional Israeli-developed military systems. This is enhancing respect for Israel's defense and commercial high tech sector, and increasing interest in buying Israeli technology products and acquiring – and investing in – Israeli high tech companies. 

2. Israel is India's 4th largest supplier of military systems, following the US, Russia and France. India is the world's largest importer of military systems (Globes, August 14).

3. According to the OECD annual report, Israel is the 4th most attractive country for foreign direct investment (FDI) per Growth Domestic Product (GDP) – 4% of GDP, compared to 1.4% of foreign direct investment per GDP in developed countries and 1.6% in the top 16 economies. Luxembourg, Ireland and Chile are ahead of Israel. The scope of foreign direct investment demonstrates the level of confidence in the long term viability of economic growth (Globes Business Daily, August 20, 2014).

4. Israel's MobilEye raised $1.02bn on Wall Street (reflecting a $5.3bn market value), the highest ever Israeli public offering there: Cellcom - $400mn in 2007, Delek Logistics - $193mn in 2012, Alon USA - $188mn in 2005, Delek USA - $184mn in 2006, Alon USA Partners - $184mn in 2012, Ness Technologies - $161mn in 2004, BigBand - $160mn in 2007, Kite Pharma - $147mn in 2014 and Saifan - $135mn in 2005 (Globes, August 4).

Israel's BioBlast, MacroCure and VBL raised $35mn, $53mn and $65mn respectively on NASDAQ (Globes, August 1). 

5. The Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Novartis, has agreed to take a 15% stake in Israel's Gamida Cell (stem cell therapies) in a deal that could reach over $600mn.  Novartis will invest $35mn immediately, with a buyout option, pending a series of milestones in 2015 (Reuters, August 19).

America's 3D Systems acquired Israel's Simbionix for $120mn (Globes, August 1).

Sweden's Vostok Nafta, London's Access Industries (Len Balvatnik) and other investors participated in a $150mn round by Israel's Get Taxi (Globes, August 14).

Yahoo made its 2nd Israeli acquisition in two months, purchasing ClarityRay for $15mn-$20mn.  Both acquisitions serve as Yahoo's research and development centers in Israel (Globes, August 18).

6.  Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan managed an $85mn round by Israel's IronSource (Globes, August 12). China's Catalyst CEL fund invests $42mn in Israel's Lamina Technologies. The Boston/Silicon Valley-based Bessemer Venture Partners and the Silicon Valley-based Accel Partners led a $30mn 3rd round by Israel's Fiverr (August 13). Russia's Trellas invested $30mn in Israel's VidMind (Globes, August 7). The San Francisco-based SR One, GSK Pharmaceuticals, the NYC-based Orbid Med fund and the Denmark-based Lundberk Pharmaceuticals invested $23mn in Israel's Atox Bio (Globes, July 25). Boston/Silicon Valley-based Battery Ventures and Silicon Valley-based Greylock Partners participated in an $11mn 2nd round of private placement by Israel's Guardicore (Globes, August 20). General Electric led a $10mn round in Israel's ThetaRay (Globes, July 30).  Hong Kong's Horizon Ventures (Li Ka Shing) led, along with Blumberg Capital, a $6.5mn round of private placement in Israel's FeeX (Globes, August 22).

7.  Britain's BG signed a $30bn letter of intent for the acquisition of Israeli natural gas beginning in 2018 (Globes, June 30).