• 15 Jun 2017

    Viola Credit Announces Profitable Realization of Telit Transaction

    In May of 2014, Viola Credit funds led a Management Buyout transaction by providing a $25.6M loan to finance the additional purchase, directly and indirectly, of Telit Communications shares by certain companies controlled by Oozi Cats, CEO and Executive Director of Telit. The transaction enabled Mr. Cats to assume control of over 20% ownership in Telit Communications.

    The loan carried an annual interest as well as an equity kicker in the form of Telit shares. A rise in Telit’s share price, from 195p when the loan was provided to 340p today, enabled Mr. Cats to repay the loan in full, plus interest.
    Realization of Viola Credit’s shares in Telit, (that were given in connection with the transaction), together with the primarily sum of the loan and the interest, enabled the fund to generate a total return of $40M to its investors.
    Telit is a publicly traded provider of global wireless technology company. The Company is a global leader in Internet of Things (IoT) enablement. They offer the industry’s broadest portfolio of integrated products, platforms and services to support and enable IoT deployments from things to apps. Its portfolio of modules addresses all cellular communication technologies, GNSS and short-to-long range wireless applications. Its IoT connectivity plans and IoT platform services help reduce the risks, time to market, complexity and costs associated with deploying and providing IoT services across industries and vertical markets worldwide. 

  • 04 Apr 2017

    Viola Credit acquires Negev Ceramics at a value of NIS 335M

    Viola Credit, the debt arm of the Viola Group, along with a group headed by businessman Yariv Lerner, announced today the signing of a strategic agreement to acquire the Negev Group (Negev Ceramics), owned by Africa Israel Industries, at a value of NIS 335 million.

    The deal includes rescheduling of NIS 260 million in debt, plus the injection of NIS 75 million into Negev Ceramics, to improve its cash flow.

    The group of buyers brings with it a combination of vast experience in financing, management, turnarounds and accelerating growth of companies.

    Negev, which was established in the late 1960s, currently leads its field in Israel and employs about 750 people. The company is engaged in three main areas: manufacturing of porcelain granite tiles in the Yeruham production plant; retailing of home design solutions under the brands of 'Via Arcadia', 'Negev' and 'Super Ceramic'; and importing and wholesaling activities through an exclusive franchise for the 'Grohe' products in Israel.

    Viola Credit's Founder and General Partner, Ruth Simha, said, "We regard Negev Ceramics as a veteran Israeli company and a leader in its sector, with a leading and beloved brand and dedicated employees. We are confident that with excellent management, cutting its debt, and a new injection of funding, the company can once again be strong and prosperous, as it was for many years, ensuring a stable home for its hundreds of dedicated employees."

    Yariv Lerner said, "Negev is a leading company in the field of building products, beloved and popular among constructors, architects and interior designers, in which we see true partners for our recovery plan that will bring Negev back to its position as a growing and profitable market leader."  

    Following the acquisition, the buyers announced the appointment of Ori Gilboa as CEO of Negev Ceramics. Gilboa served as a CEO of James Richardson for four years. Prior to that, he served as CEO of the automotive division of Mira Group (Honda, Volvo, and Jaguar), where he managed an operation of 1,500 employees and brought with him extensive managerial, operational and marketing experience.

    Yariv Lerner has been appointed an active chairman of the company, and has worked as a CEO of Natalie Medical Services, which he successfully rehabilitated and led the acquisition.

    The Barnea & Co. law firm advised Viola Credit in the acquisition.
    It should be noted that the transaction is subject to the approval of the Court and Antitrust Commissioner. 

  • 21 Mar 2017

    Telco Altice to acquire video ad tech player Teads for $308M

    Another telco is buying an adtech firm — today it’s been confirmed that video ad player Teads is being acquired by Dutch telecom Altice, which has some 50 million fixed and mobile subscribers, the majority of whom are in the U.S. and France. Teads claims its global online video advertising marketplace has more than 1.2 billion unique visitors, including 720 million via mobile.

    Teads is being valued at €285 million (~$308 million) “on a cash and debt free basis” by Altice, with the purchase price subject to it meeting certain revenue targets in 2017. Seventy-five percent of the purchase price will be due at closing — with the remaining quarter becoming payable in early 2018, should targets be met.

    The pair say they are expecting the acquisition to close in mid-2017, following competition reviews.

    Teads offers so-called “outstream” video ad format — enabling ads to be displayed outside of a video stream, such as within any content on a webpage, thereby enabling publishers to house video ads without needing to produce their own video content to host the ad inventory. Its revenue grew by 44 percent in 2016 to an estimated €187.7 million.

    The French company was founded back in 2011, and despite previously talking up the prospect of an IPO, Teads has remained private, while making some acquisitions of its own. It also merged with another adtech firm, Ebuzzing, in 2014.

    As noted above, there’s a growing trend of telcos going shopping for adtech firms — not least TechCrunch’s parent company AOL’s parent Verizon, which is also in the process of closing in on Yahoo‘s adtech.

    Altice and Teads say the acquisition rationale is the strategic combination of their assets — citing, for example, the advantage of being able to link Altice’s “unique first party data-sets” (aka the personal data of the 50 million subscribers to its broadband and mobile services) with Teads’ “relationships with 94 of the top 100 advertisers globally” and “partnerships with 500+ premium publishers globally and 8,000 vertically specialized publishers.”

    In simpler terms, this is about telcos monetizing knowledge of their vast user-bases by finding ways to benefit from serving them targeted premium advertising — and in the U.S. now encouraged by President Trump’s new FCC chairman pick, Ajit Pai, who is a fan of very-light-touch regulation (versus the prior FCC chairman’s intent to expand broadband privacy rules).

    Commenting in a statement, Michel Combes, CEO of Altice, said: “There is significant incremental value to be generated from our assets. Teads, a powerful business in itself, with major presence in Altice footprint notably in the U.S. and France, will enable us to offer a truly unique value proposition to brands and agencies on the one hand and the media industry, programmers and distributors on the other. It is that value proposition — data-driven, measurable and multiscreen — which will enable us to significantly grow our advertising business. We are very excited to partner with Pierre, Bertrand and their talented team.”

    While Pierre Chappaz, founder and executive chairman of Teads, added: “Since our inception we have strived to offer our clients with superior advertising solutions based on measurable performance and technological innovation. As part of Altice, we will be able to offer even more tailored, data-driven solutions and take our value proposition from the digital world to a multiscreen platform, which includes TV, digital, mobile and tablets.”

    Altice’s stock was trading up 1.45 percent following the announcement.

  • 29 May 2017

    Check out photos of the 1st #IsraelGrowthSummit, held by Viola & Israel Growth Forum led by @Wix… https://t.co/Kdo5rnj2p3
  • 27 May 2017

    Great read: 4 Things Entrepreneurs Can Do to Build a Truly Great Business, by @Payoneer CEO. https://t.co/3wx5QnXPDC
  • 14 May 2017

    "Venture debt dilutes founders much less than equity rounds". by @ttunguz https://t.co/TimNfRVaiM

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Viola Credit is a lending fund that helps companies extend their runway with minimal dilution to owners & founders

Since 2000, Viola Credit completed over 100 transactions and committed $600 million to Israeli companies with substantial revenue and growth momentum. As Israel’s premier private debt provider, we provide custom credit solutions to mid, late and growth-stage technology focused companies. The Viola Credit model is based on secured loans in consideration of interest and equity component. Our loans enhance growth and limit equity dilution for founders and management alike. An experienced investment team analyses each investment opportunity and tailors financing deals according to each company’s financial needs with focus on real extension of runway and flexibility. With deep credit, banking, technological and operational experience, the Viola Credit team enjoys excellent access to a broad deal-flow of opportunities, and has become the “lender of choice” to many of Israel’s most promising companies. A strong track of commitment to partnership has drawn companies and executives to return for 2nd and 3rd time deals.

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