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Copia targets $50 mln for new Israeli agro/food tech fund

Copia Agro & Food, a Tel Aviv fund focused on agriculture and food products, is raising $50 million for investment in Israeli technologies addressing issues including climate change and food shortages. Managing the fund will be Ohad Zuckerman, former CEO of Zeraim Gedera and Eyal Cohen, managing partner at Copia.

VC-backed Gamida Cell adds Adams to board

Gamida Cell, a Jerusalem-based developer of cellular and immune therapies that treat cancer and genetic diseases, has named Dr. Julian Adams as chairman of its board of directors. Adams, who succeeds Ruben Krupik as Gamida’s chairman, is president of R&D at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Gamida is backed by investment firms including Israel Healthcare Ventures, Denali Ventures and Auriga Ventures.

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Missouri and Israel seal co-investment pact to develop tech jobs

Missouri and Israel signed a co-investment agreement, designed to develop projects and create jobs. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Israel Chief Scientist Avi Hasson said in a Nov. 17 joint statement that the accord creates a framework through which for-profit companies in the state and nation can develop and commercialize technologies in aerospace and defense, cybersecurity, biotechnology and agriculture.

Israel Q3 tech funding up 14 percent, deals down 13 percent: IVC/KPMG survey

Israel’s third-quarter technology funding rose 14 percent on 13 percent fewer deals, according to a survey by the IVC Research Center of Tel Aviv and consultants KPMG Somekh Chaikin. Israeli high-tech companies raised $1.19 billion in the quarter, compared with $1.04 billion in the year-earlier period. Also, the number of funding deals fell to 142 from 164. Adjusting for one large deal, a $204 million bond pricing involving Ormat, funding in the third quarter fell 5.6 percent from a year earlier to $982 million, which the survey called in line with the three-year quarterly average of $1 billion.Through the nine months, Israeli high-tech companies raised $4 billion, a 27 percent above the $3.15 billion of the year-earlier period. The number of deals was 510, up nearly 4 percent from 491.

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FIMI in talks to buy G4S Israeli unit for $105 mln

The Tel Aviv private equity firm FIMI is in advanced talks to acquire the Israeli subsidiary of the UK-based security-services firm G4S for as much as 400 million shekels, or $105 million, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. Quoting anonymous sources, the paper said that a purchase price of 350 million to 400 million shekels would indicate a multiple of 6x or 7x annual EBITDA at the Israeli unit. Several months ago G4S said that it planned to sell the Israel unit for commercial reasons. Last month, FIMI closed a $1.1 billion fundraising for its sixth fund.

Israeli PE activity declines in second quarter, says new report

Israel’s private-equity dealmaking dropped in the second quarter, a report released July 26 said. Deal value in the quarter dropped 22 percent to $1.3 billion from $1.67 billion in the year-earlier quarter, while the number of deals fell by more than half to 13 from 29, the report by the trade group IVC Research Center and the law firm Shibolet & Co said. The comparative figures for Q1 2016 were 15 deals valued at $265 million, the firms, both based in Tel Aviv, said.

Saguna Networks closes $5 mln financing led by CE Ventures

Saguna Networks, the Yoqneam, Israel, producer of technology to make mobile broadband faster and more efficient, closed a $5 million financing round led by CE Ventures of Hong Kong with participation by the company’s current holders. Saguna said in a statement that it would use the funding to expand the company’s mobile-edge computing offering and global […]

Gamida Cell gets $4.4 mln grant from Israel agency

Gamida Cell, the Jerusalem specialist in stem-cell technologies to treat cancer and genetic diseases, received a $4.4 million grant from the Israel Innovation Authority, formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist. The non-dilutive funding will support R&D, including Gamida Cell’s Phase III registration study of NiCord for blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, and its […]

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Drug developer BioSight closes $13 mln funding led by Arkin, Primera

BioSight Ltd, the Karmiel, Israel, developer of less-toxic chemotherapy drugs, closed a $13 million investment led by Arkin Holdings of Herzliya Pituach, Israel, and Primera Capital of Littleton, Colorado. BioSight said in a statement that it would use the proceeds to fund a multi-center Phase IIb clinical trial of its lead product, Astarabine, which is designed to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Arkin and Primera are to invest $5 million each and current holders, including Michael Ilan Management & Investments of Kadima, Israel, will put in $3 million. The investment will come in two steps, the first immediate and the second conditioned on the company meeting a milestone.

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Olympus Partners taps Conroy as third managing partner

Olympus Partners named Jim Conroy its third managing partner. Conroy, 55, joined the Stamford, Connecticut, firm in 1990 as it began investing its first fund. The firm said he’d had particular success with healthcare and financial-services investments. His new role will include expanded responsibility on the investment committee and within management. Olympus, founded 1988, manages more than $5.5 billion, the firm’s website says. Its latest fund, Olympus Growth Fund VI, has committed capital of $2.3 billion. Olympus says it makes at most three or four investments a year, ranging $50 million for growth-capital deals to $300 million and more for buyouts.

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Swanson Health Products names Abbott Labs’ Doyle CEO

Swanson Health Products, the Fargo, North Dakota, online and catalog marketer of healthy living products, named Katie Doyle chief executive officer. Doyle joins Swanson from Abbott Laboratories, where she was a senior vice president, leading the nutrition business in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. In that post she was responsible for $3.2 billion in revenue “across a portfolio of brands in the pediatric and adult nutrition space as well as sports nutrition and healthy snacking,” Swanson said in a statement. As Swanson CEO she succeeds Ken Harris, who led the company through its late-January acquisition by Swander Pace Capital, the San Francisco private equity firm with $1.3 billion of equity commitments.

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Cinven and Canada Pension Plan to buy Hotelbeds from Tui

Cinven, the London private equity firm, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreed to acquire Hotelbeds Group from Tui Group. The enterprise value of Hotelbeds, the Palma de Mallorca, Spain, travel-services provider, is €1.165 billion, or $1.32 billion. Hotelbeds’ clients include tour operators, travel agencies, corporate clients and consumers. Tui Group is the Hannover, Germany, travel and tourism firm. Jorge Quemada, partner at Cinven, and Shane Feeney, managing director and head of direct private equity at the Canada pension firm, in a statement said Hotelbeds is performing well and has strong growth prospects. Advising on the deal were Bain & Co  (commercial); Freshfields (legal); Lazard, Morgan Stanley, HSBC and PricewaterhouseCoopers (m&a); Deloitte (tax) and PwC (financial, labor and IT).

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Värde and Banco Popular to acquire a card line from Barclays

Värde Partners, the $10 billion Minneapolis alternative-investment firm, and Banco Popular Espanol SA agreed to acquire the Barclaycard business in Spain and Portugal from Barclays. Terms weren’t disclosed.  The business will be acquired by bancopopular-e, which is owned 51 percent by Värde and 49% by Banco Popular, the Spanish bank. The deal builds online bank bancopopular-e’s presence in Spain and speeds its […]

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Levyx, big-data-tech provider, closes $5.4 mln Series A led by OCA

Levyx Inc, the Irvine, California, producer of cost-efficient big-data infrastructure technology for all size enterprises, closed a $5.4 million Series A financing led by OCA Ventures of Chicago. In a statement, Levyx said that other participating investors included Amino Capital (aka zPark Capital) of Palo Alto, California, and Sumavision USA Corp. Sumavision Technologies Co is the Beijing provider of video-delivery solutions. Individual executives from tech companies including EMC and SAP also invested in the round. Levyx plans to use the funds to speed product development and boost sales and marketing.

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Arsenal Capital unit buys specialty-chemicals firm Sasco

Arsenal Capital Partners, the New York private equity firm focused on healthcare and specialty-industrial businesses, said that a unit acquired Sasco Chemical Group Inc. Terms weren’t disclosed. Sasco, founded 1948, is the Albany, Georgia, producer of specialty chemicals for the rubber, wood, consumer and medical industries. Arsenal’s polymer-solutions group, which made the acquisition, was advised by Kirkland & Ellis. Twinbrook Capital and Kayne Anderson, the group’s current lenders, provided debt financing for the deal. Genesis Capital LLC was financial adviser to Sasco Chemical.

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3i to sell Mayborn at 3.5x money multiple

3i Group, the London private equity firm, and funds it manages agreed to sell Mayborn Group to Shanghai Jahwa (Group) Co. In a statement, 3i said that total proceeds to 3i and funds “represent a 3.5x money multiple. Proceeds … will be £135m, in line with 3i’s valuation at 31 December 2015. These amounts are in addition to £32m received by 3i through a refinancing in 2012.” 3i took Mayborn private in 2006. In that time, Ebitda tripled, reaching more than £25 million ($36.4 million) in 2015. Net sales in 2015 were £130 million, 60 percent of which were international sales.  Shanghai Jahwa is the parent of the Chinese consumer-products firm Jahwa United Co. Jahwa Group is wholly owned by Ping An Insurance Group.

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SnappyData closes $3.65 mln Series A funding

SnappyData, the Portland, Oregon, developer of a cost-efficient analytics database built on the Apache Spark data-processing platform, closed $3.65 million of Series A funding. The round was led by Pivotal of Palo Alto, California, GE Digital of San Ramon, California, and GTD Capital of Seattle. In a statement, SnappyData said the funds would enable it to invest further in engineering and sales. The company says it already employs more than 30 engineers and is hiring.