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Oplon Mulls IPO At $100 Million Company Valuation

Israeli Oplon had developed a protective polymer compound for food and drink packaging.
 / By Gali Weinreb and Ron Steinblatt/

C. Mer Industries Ltd. (TASE: CMER) unit Oplon Ltd. is considering an IPO on either the TASE or an overseas stock market at a company valuation of $100 million, sources inform “Globes.” Oplon last raised money in 2011 at a company valuation of $30 million. Nes Ziona based Oplon develops protective products, coatings and processes, based on a novel polymer compound, which prevent the colonization of microbes by creating a protective physical shield on surfaces. The products could be used in food packaging and save the need to chill or boil or add preservatives.

Oplon was founded in 2006 by director Dr. Uriel Halavee, chief scientist Dr. Shmuel Bukshpan and CTO Gleb Zilberstein based on an invention by Dr. Shmuel Cabilly through an exceptional investment by C. Mer in an area not related to communications. C. Mer has a 26% stake in the company. First Israel Mezzanine Investors Fund (FIMI), controlled by Yeshai Davidi, recently signed an agreement to invest NIS 95 million in the company for 30% of C. Mer’s holding, and it is highly likely that FIMI is taking into account a potential exit. In 2008 Wanaka Capital Partners, which specializes in mid-tech investments, also invested in the company and today holds a 24% stake. Avi Shani, a partner in the fund became CEO, and another partner Ronen Melnik became chairman.

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In 2012, Oplon signed two major cooperation agreements. The first was with a leading global beverage company and the second was with leading packaging company Reynolds Consumer Products for developing an anti-bacteria tray for meat and corks for milk bottles.

Melnik said, “Today the light drinks bottle process includes boiling, filling the bottle when the liquid is warm and all this requires a lot of plastic, which is the biggest cost in the product. We can save the companies plastic in a ratio of 10:1.”

This product should reach the market within two years.

Both the agreements have yielded the company small payments for development but when products reach market Oplon expects revenue of tens of million dollars from each of the agreements.

Meanwhile from payments for development, Oplon had revenue of $420, 000 in 2012 and lost $5.1 million. In the first half of 2013, revenue rose to $1.3 million and at the end of June the company had $550, 000 cash and debts (owners’ loans) of $2 million.

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