Israeli Private Equity Firm To Acquire Majority Stake In IAI Satellite Business

Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) on Nov. 6 said that it has agreed to have the private equity firm FIMIinvest $40 million in its satellite imagery services business, ImageSat International (ISI), in exchange for 54 percent stake in the business.

Terms of the deal include ISI buying the new EROS C observation satellite from IAI, and for ISI to pay IAI $35 million on the transaction closing date to cover part of the outstanding shareholders' loan.

FIMI is the largest private equity fund in Israel. The stake in ISI would add a satellite imagery provider to its portfolio.

The deal must still be approved by the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Antitrust Authority.

“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 such companies such as Gilat and Orbit, offer significant growth potential,” Gillon Beck, senior partner at FIMI, said in a statement. “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.”

Joseph Weiss, president and CEO of IAI, said that “FIMI’s investment in ISI reflects IAI’s strategy to create collaboration with business and financial entities, spin-off technologies to the civilian sector, and prioritize investments for innovation and technological entrepreneurship.”

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