Engineering group Baran is increasing acquisitions of American companies.

CEO Meir Dor told TheMarker that Baran is poised to sign an agreement to acquire 80% of an American cellular infrastructure firm. He said that the deal is at a much lower price and involves significantly better terms than previously announced.

Baran informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at the beginning of December 2001 that it has signed an agreement in principle to acquire a 72% interest in an American company for $14.4 million. In the past, Baran had said the investment would come to over $20 million. Dor said that the final agreement is due to be signed February 15.

Sales of the American firm came to $30 million in 2001, and in 2000 sales were more than double that figure.

Dor noted that Baran obtained better terms because the market is still weak, and because the American firm agreed to give Baran more weight in the development of the American company. Other factors relating to the calculation of company valuation also contributed to Baran getting improved terms.

The American firm has a few dozen customers.

Dor said that Baran is in advanced negotiations with another three American companies, and that there are reasonable chances that it will acquire all three. He added that Baran intends to make the best of the weak market.

Baran is Israel's biggest engineering firm. Revenue in 2000 came to $210 million.

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