Israel 2011 PE Deals Up

Private equity deals in Israel grew 18 percent to $2.88 billion in 2011, writes reuters. Most of these investments were in cleantech and software companies, according to data from the IVC Research Center.

Reuters – Private equity deals in Israel grew 18 percent to $2.88 billion in 2011, with most investment in cleantech and software companies, the IVC Research Center said on Wednesday.

Ten of the 60 deals attracted more than $100 million each and accounted for $2.15 billion, or 75 percent of the total amount, said IVC and corporate law firm GKH.

Nearly 70 percent of the deals were by foreign private equity companies while $898 million was invested in 15 deals in the fourth quarter alone, the highest quarterly amount in two years.

“In 2011, we saw the continuation of two trends in the Israeli private equity market. The first was the growing role of local private equity funds in small and medium size deals, but the dominance of foreign private equity funds in large deals,” said Rick Mann, managing partner of GKH.

“The second was the attractiveness of Israeli technology-driven businesses to foreign private equity investors. The latter was particularly evident in the cleantech, software and Internet-related fields. I would expect these trends to continue in 2012.”

Cleantech accounted for 33 percent of private equity interest led by the buyout of Netafim, a maker of irrigation systems, by Permira for $366 million.

Software comprised another 29 percent with three main transactions — a $390 million buyout of Fundtech by GTCR, a $308 million buyout of Ness Technologies by Citi Venture International and Riverwood Capital’s $110 million purchase of SintecMedia. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Andrew Callus)