The defense electronics company Elbit Systems announced on Sunday the completion of a deal to acquire the state-owned IMI Systems.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting: “Today we are at the end of a long and important process that began several years ago.
“The sale of IMI to Elbit will facilitate the advancement of the Israeli defense industry, will leverage Israel’s technological abilities, and will increase defense exports. All of these will directly contribute to the Israeli economy.
“Additionally, the sale will allow for the clearing of land in high demand areas that will serve for the construction of housing units and will also transfer hundreds of workers to the Negev and the Galilee.”
The purchase was for $495 million (NIS 1.8 billion), with an additional payment of $27 million (NIS 100 million) contingent upon IMI meeting agreed performance goals, according to Globes.
The land clearance mentioned by PM Netanyahu refers to an agreement whereby IMI will shut down its Ramat Hasharon factories and move them to the Negev, where they will contribute to an ongoing effort to develop the region. They will reopen in the Ramat Beka industrial zone south of Beersheba.
IMI is the maker of standard Israeli infantry firearms like the Uzi, the Galil assault rifle and the Negev machine gun, as well as much of the IDF ground forces’ ammunition, multiple types of rockets for air and artillery systems, and precision ordnance.