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Israel’s ImageSat International Acquired by FIMI

ImageSat International’s EROS-B high-resolution imaging satellite. Photograph courtesy of ImageSat International.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced on November 6, 2017, that it has entered an agreement with FIMI, the largest private equity fund in Israel (FIMI). Pursuant to the agreement, FIMI shall invest U.S.$40 million in ImageSat International (ISI) in exchange for 53.6% of ISI’s share equity. The agreement further stipulates that ISI shall buy the new observation satellite EROS C from IAI and at the transaction closing date, shall pay IAI U.S.$35 million to cover part of the outstanding shareholder’s loan. The transaction will alot preferred stock to FIMI with a distribution agreement between IAI and FIMI. The deal is pending approval by the Israeli Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Antitrust Authority.

Joseph Weiss, IAI’s President and CEO, commented, “FIMI’s investment in ISI reflects IAI’s strategy to create collaborations with business and financial entities, Spin-off technologies to the civilian sector, and prioritise investments for innovation and technological entrepreneurship. Under the deal, IAI remains a material shareholder of ISI and is expected to benefit also from the incremental value expected to surface as a result of the investment. IAI continually reviews opportunities for civilian applications of military technologies through collaboration with synergetic organizations.”

Gillon Beck, Senior Partner at FIMI, commented, “Satellites in general, including the observation satellites market in which ISI is active and the communication satellites market, in which we are present through our investments in companies such as Gilat and Orbit, offer significant growth potential. ISI has interesting growth engines such as data and algorithm-based products. The collaboration between IAI and FIMI will help ISI soar to new heights in space.”

The EROS C satellite is a high resolution observation satellite. Based on IAI’s OPTSAT 3000, it is part of a broader line of observation satellites developed and manufactured by IAI and are used successfully in space. EROS C is highly maneuverable and diversified in terms of applications, among others thanks to its low weight. These benefits will be leveraged for the benefit of ISI customers worldwide in a broad range of services, including collection of accurate intelligence at minimum time, above politically and military-challenging regions and use of advanced analytics tools.

ISI is a GEOINT company that provides space intelligence to armies, governments, and commercial customers with a combination of advanced observation tools, analysts with rich operational experience and development of machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. These services allow ISI customer to obtain visual intelligence and up-to-date snapshot of the target area. ISI also offers continuous monitoring services for vessels at sea, including movement prediction and speed detection capabilities. More recently it has expanded into economic intelligence services, including monitoring of oil reserves in storage sites, tracking the supply chains of manufacturing plants, and more.

Founded in 1996, FIMI is the first private equity fund of Israel. With $3.5 billion of assets under management, it is also Israel’s largest investment fund. FIMI buys control in companies and enhances their value. To date, the Fund has acquired controlling share in some 85 companies and has exited 55 of them with total transaction value exceeding $4.5 billion. FIMI employs over 25,000 people and is active in 50 manufacturing plants in Israel and dozens more across the globe. FIMI invests in export-oriented Israeli companies with extensive international operations. To date, FIMI has invested in a broad range of sectors, including industrial, commercial and service sectors. FIMI does not invest in real estate or financial companies. Examples of FIMI’s investments to date include Retalix, Rivulis, Pharm-Up, Magal, Tami4, Schneider, Hamlet, Ormat, Ophir Optronics, Scope Metal, Medtechnica, Merhav, Gilat, Metro Motor, TAT Technologies, Urdan, Nirlat, Tadiran Communications, Ytong, Lipman, Formula Systems, R.H. Technologies, Orian, MDT, Raviv, TAHAL, Prior-Tech, Tadirgan, Solbar, Dimar, Givon, H. Mer, Overseas, Hadera Paper, Oxygen and Argon Works, Poliram, Unitronics, DelekSun, G4S Israel and more.

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