by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
1. During the 3rd quarter of 2017, foreign acquisition of Israeli startups reached $1.7BN, a 17-year-old quarterly record (Globes Business Daily, November 20, 2017).
2. During the 3rd quarter of 2017, (144) Israeli startups raised $1.4BN, 14% higher than the 2nd quarter. $3.8BN were raised during the first three quarters of 2017, similar to 2016, which set all time high record (Globes October 25).
3. During the 3rd quarter of 2017, Israel’s GDP grew at a 4.1% annual rate, up from the 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. Israel’s exports rose in defiance of the very strong Shekel (due to Israel’s strong economic performance, benefitting from the dramatic reduction of energy imports). Private consumption rose 7.8%, acquisition of machinery grew 29.9% and the import of private cars expanded 38.9% (Globes, November 17).
4. “In 2017, investment in autonomous car startups is more than double the 2016 totals. While Silicon Valley is a known hotspot for autonomous driving, Israel is a pretty solid No. 2 for startup deals, with three of the 10 largest rounds this year. Intel’s $15.3 billion purchase of Mobileye, an Israel-based startup, is also the largest M&A deal for an autonomous driving-related company for this or any year.”
5. Japan’s Mitsubishi Tanabe finalized its $1.1BN acquisition of Israel’s Parkinson disease biotech Neuroderm (Globes, October 20).
6. Luxembourg’s CVC Capital Partners ($100MN) and London’s Pantheon Ventures ($50MN) participated in a round of private placement by Israel’s cybersecurity Skybox Security, which raised $96MN, in 2016, from Rhode Island’s Providence Equity Partners. Israel’s financial-tech BlueVine raised $130MN from the Sillicon Valley Bank, Atlanta’s SunTrust Bank, Menlo Park’s TriplePoint Venture Growth BDC Corp., etc. Israel’s ForeScout (network security solutions) raised $116MN on NASDAQ.
7. The NYC-based SK Capital acquired Israel’s ChemAgis (owned by the Michigan-based Perrigo) for $110MN (Globes, Nov. 23).
8. China’s $7BN Chengdu Kanghong Pharmaceutical Group acquired Israel’s I-Optima for $56MN in four stages, ending in 2021 (Globes, November 22). Germany’s Tentamus Analytics Laboratories holding group acquired Israel’s Analyst Research Laboratories for tens of millions of dollars. Analyst is owned by one of the three founders of Israel’s Neuroderm, which was bought in July, 2017 for $1.1BN by Japan’s Mitsubishi Tanabe.
9. British Telecom selected Israel’s AudioCodes to provide communications solutions, which raised the NASDAQ value of AudioCodes by 9% (a 56% surge in a year), its highest in 3.5 years. The Kansas-based Sprint expanded its contract with Israel’s satellite networking technology Gilat, including a 3-year-multimillion dollar project, triggering a 4.3% rise in its value (Globes, October 18).
10. South Korea-Israel trade balance is expanding, while a free-trade-agreement is negotiated. Israel’s export to South Korea rose 36% during January-August, reaching $560MN, mostly medical equipment, chemical and metal products. During the same period, Israel import from South Korea totaled $880MN, mostly cars and machinery. South Korea’s Hankuk Carbon concluded a cooperation agreement with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), establishing a joint venture, leveraging IAI’s unique experience in the area of developing and manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles, focusing on vertical takeoff and landing capabilities (Globes, October 19).