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Top 5 Israel IPO Stories for September

Valens

Valens Semiconductor (YouTube clip)

The exits keep on coming for Startup Nation. There were plenty of IPOs in September.

Israeli fintech startup Pagaya sealed the deal on an SPAC merger ahead of the company’s initial public offering. Pagaya is looking at a $9 billion valuation from its IPO. This is up from the reported $8 billion expectation of just a few weeks ago.

Fintech is a term that refers to any new tech that assists with money transfers. It could be something designed for the use of banks or a program that assists businesses in collecting payments.

Pagaya expects to take in $488 million in total from the merger, $288 million of which was already by the SPAC, and $200 million in PIPE investments.

The company raised $102 million in new funding last June which gave it just a $2 billion valuation at the time. So now Pagaya’s owners think that it has quadrupled in value in less than a year, making it possibly Israel’s biggest unicorn. But only a startup can be considered a unicorn so once it goes public, should it actually achieve an $8 billion valuation, the company would not be a unicorn.

This one is not a startup, but a veteran company that now wants to go public.

Keter Plastic, an Israeli company that produces home and garden plastic products, filed the forms with the SEC ahead of a planned initial public offering IPO on the New York Stock Exchange NYSE. Keter Plastic says that it hopes to raise hundreds of millions of dollars and expects a valuation of $2 to 2.5 billion from the IPO.

The number of ordinary shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. Keter plans to apply to list its ordinary shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “KETR.”

Keter was founded in Jaffa back in 1948 by Joseph Sogol, the year that Israel was established. Sogol’s sons inherited the company from him. In 2016, an 80% controlling interest in Keter was to private equity firm BC Partners for $1.7 billion.

Its products are made from resin. Keter boasts annual sales amounting to over $1 billion. The Keter Group distributes to 25,000 retail outlets globally, including nearly all of the top 250 retailers worldwide – with many of these relationships dating back more than 25 years.

Valens, an Israeli startup that provides high-speed connectivity solutions – chips — for the audio-video and automotive markets, and PTK Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) have completed their merger as part of Valens’ initial public offering (IPO).

Valens will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “VLN” and ring the opening bell today, September 30, 2021. That is four months after Valens first announced its plans to do so.

Valens Automotive calls itself a key enabler of the evolution of autonomous driving, providing the ultra-high-speed solution necessary to connect the growing number of in-vehicle sensors, cameras, radars, and lidars. The automotive chipsets are on the road in premium vehicles around the world, and the underlying technology has been selected to become the basis for the new international standard for automotive connectivity. Founded in 2006, Valens is based in Tel Aviv, Israel with offices in the US, Europe and Asia.

Even former generals and prime ministers of Israel are getting in on the marijuana business these days. In this case, one man covers both fields, Ehud Barak.
InterCure, an Israeli medicinal cannabis company, began trading on Nasdaq  following the completion of its merger with SPAC Subversive Real Estate Acquisition REIT LP of Canada.

InterCure led by chairman and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and CEO Alexander Rabinovitch.

The company’s share price has risen 60% over the past year but is still 65% below its peak two years ago. InterCure has a market cap of $273.2 million. Barak holds warrants worth NIS 18 ($5.5) million. InterCure holds 100% of the shares of Canndoc.

Not all of the IPO news was good news in September.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has once again hit a bump on the road to its initial public offering (IPO). The company will not be able to hold its IPO before the end of 2021. Plans for the IAI IPO have been underway since back in November of 2020.

In June IAI revealed plans to hold an initial public offering (IPO) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). The company selected four underwriters to lead the flotation – Discount Capital, Poalim-IBI, Leader Capital Markets, and Barak Capital. IAI had expected to come away with a $4 billion valuation.

At the time, IAI was expected to hold the largest IPO in Israel’s history – on a domestic exchange – and to come away with $1 billion in cash.

This is now the second time that the company has hit a stumbling block before an IPO. Back in March a planned IAI IPO hit a snag and was stalled. The issue at the time had to do with whether or not IAI would be required to make all of the financial disclosures required by law ahead of an IPO. There was concern that the company would not be able to comply with all of the regulations because this information also includes Israel’s sensitive national security and military information.

Part of the problem for IAI, says Globes, are all of the local regulatory hurdles that it must pass through before it can hold the IPO. Also, only the local investors will be allowed to participate in the IPO. Foreign investors and underwriters will be shut out.

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