Another Giant Exit: Plarium Fetches $500M Cash

A view of the Herzliya industrial area. (Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM - For the second time in a week, a major deal involving a veteran Israeli technology firm has netted its local owners hundreds of millions of dollars. On Thursday, Australia’s Aristocrat Digital announced that it was purchasing Israeli gaming start-up Plarium for $500 million in cash. Herzliya-based Plarium is considered a world leader in its field, with eight offices and development centers in Israel, the U.S. and Europe, and over 1,200 employees.

The CEO and co-founder of Plarium, Avraham Shalel, will continue to lead Plarium post acquisition, the company said. Avraham Shalel and 12 other key members of Plarium’s management team have agreed to remain at the firm. The transaction is expected to be completed by December 2017, subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

According to Aristocrat CEO and managing director Trevor Croker, Plarium’s business is strongly aligned with Aristocrat’s, with similar operational approaches to game development and segment and market entry, common focus on producing the world’s best gaming content and a common aspiration to be a market leader in their key target segments.

Earlier this week, Netafim, an Israeli company that was at the forefront of the “green revolution” around the world, announced that it was being bought out by Mexichem, a Mexican firm that manufactures plastics and petrochemicals. The price was estimated in Israeli media at $1.5 billion. Netafim is widely credited with inventing key technologies involved in drip irrigation, a form of irrigation that saves up to 80 percent of water usage when watering crops. Started in 1965, Netafim operates in 150 countries through 37 subsidiaries, with 13 factories throughout the world. The company has 3,000 employees, 2,000 of whom are employed in the company’s manufacturing plants.