CTech’s Wednesday Roundup of Israeli Tech News

Verint considering IPO for one of its business units, Israeli marijuana companies look to the stock market, Black Cube accused of Nigeria election meddling

CTech 18:2328.03.18

Israeli surveillance company Verint considers an IPO for its security intelligence division. In February, Calcalist reported that Nasdaq-listed Verint was looking to sell the division, citing anonymous sources. Verint is now trying a different tack, looking into a possible float of the business unit. So far, response to the attempt by possible partners has been lukewarm. The company is hoping for an $800 million valuation for the unit, but it may turn out far lower. Read more

IDB bids for Israeli satellite operator Spacecom. Spacecom is a subsidiary of Eurocom Group, an Israeli holding company that is $420 million in debt to institutional creditors. IDB has previously expressed interested in acquiring Eurocom. Now the company is making an offer just for Spacecom, offering $45.75 million (NIS 160 million) for a 54.7% undiluted stake in Eurocom, and an equity infusion of as much as $11.45 million (NIS 40 million). Read more


Nasdaq. Photo: Getty Nasdaq. Photo: Getty

While government hedges on export, investors light up Israeli cannabis stocks. Two companies listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange announced this week a pivot to marijuana. Amir Marketing and Investments in Agriculture, a company that deals in real estate and agriculture products, is one. The other is D Pharm, a shelf company that is hoping to merger with a marijuana production startup called UNV Medicine. Read more


Facebook privacy whistleblower names Black Cube in U.K. testimony. The whistleblower accusing Facebook of a massive data breach told the British parliament Tuesday that private intelligence firm Black Cube was hired to obtain compromising information on the president of Nigeria. Black Cube denied the allegation and vowed to seek legal action to correct Wylie’s act of “defamation.” Read more


U.K. watchdog launches investigation into Israel-linked chipmaker Telit Communications. Telit has been under scrutiny since it ousted CEO Oozi Cats in August amidst probes into 25-year-old fraud charges in the U.S. Now the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking into “the timeliness of announcing certain matters included in the interim results published on 7 August 2017,” the London-listed company said in a statement. Telit’s stock price dropped 13.2% on the day of the announcement. Read more


Israeli national carrier petitions against Air India’s direct flights to Tel Aviv through Saudi airspace. An Air India flight that landed in Tel Aviv on Thursday night was the first commercial flight to or from Israel to be allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia, which does not maintain official diplomatic ties with Israel. El Al petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to prohibit Air India from using the route, as long as Israeli carriers are not allowed use it. Read more


Mobile forensics company Cellebrite offloads non-core business unit. Israel-based Cellebrite, whose core business is extracting data from mobile phones for law enforcement agencies, sold a business unit that focuses on commercial customers to ESW Capital. Read more


VC firm linked with Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich backs real estate startup RealX. Israel-based RealX develops an online real estate bulletin board that matches apartments for sale to potentially compatible buyers. Mr. Abramovich also invests through London-based investment firm Millhouse, whose portfolio includes Israeli companies such as Spot.IM, StoreDot, Anyclip, iAngels,Kidoz, and Israeli-linked rideshare firm Via. Read more


InSight Biopharmaceuticals buys Israel-based cancer treatment company CureTech. As part of the deal, InSight commits to help develop CureTech’s lead product, which is currently in advanced clinical trials. Read more


Canada-Israel fund invests in eight tech projects by Israeli and Canadian companies. The selected projects operate in the fields of agritech, robotics, satellite communications, foodtech, and cleantech. Read more

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