United with Israel
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The start-up nation was in the news this week when American Nvidia Corporation announced on Monday that it agreed to buy Israeli chipmaker Mellanox Technologies Ltd. for $6.9 billion. It was the biggest acquisition for Nvidia and the second-largest high-tech acquisition in Israel’s history.
Israel has emerged as global leader in developing innovative, high-tech solutions to solve the world’s many problems and challenges. Here’s a look at other high-tech acquisitions in Israel’s history.
To this day, the title of the largest high-tech acquisition in Israel’s history belongs to Intel for their purchase of Mobileye for $15.3 billion. Founded in 1999, the Jerusalem-based Mobileye is the global leader in developing vision technology for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. With self-driving vehicles already beginning to hit the road, Mobileeye and Volkswagen announced in the fall that an autonomous ride-hailing service will soon be coming to Israel – an opportunity for Israelis to experience this technology first-hand.
After the Mellanox acquisition, which is now the second largest for Israel, comes NDS. Originally founded in 1988 as News Datacom, NDS has been known for developing software and hardware such as set-top boxes for pay TV providers. NDS was first acquired in 2009 by the London-based private equity firm Permira for $3.6 billion.
Three years later, NDS was again sold, this time to Cisco Systems for $5 billion. Cisco had hoped that the acquisition of NDS would help the company become a major player in the video-on-demand market.
However, consumer trends towards streaming and cloud-based services like Netflix and Youtube was a major disruption to Cisco’s video-on-demand efforts, resulting in massive layoffs and ultimately NDS being sold back to Permira for just a fraction of what Cisco originally paid for it.
In 2000, the US communications equipment company, Lucent, acquired Israel’s Chromatis for a total of $4.7 billion in what was the largest acquisition in Israel’s history at the time. Unfortunately though, just a year later Lucent was forced to shut down Chromatis due to a lack of demand for their telecommunication products.
4. Mercury Interactive
Rounding out the list of the top-5 high-tech acquisitions in Israel’s history is the software company Mercury Interactive, who was purchased for $4.5 billion by the information technology company, HP. Mercury Interactive products became part of HP’s software division until 2017 when the subsidiary was sold to Micro-Focus in the U.K.
GPO contributed to this report.