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Apax Partners will continue investing in Israel despite new situation created by U.S. attacks, says chairman

Investors will require Israeli companies to maintain facilities in U.S. or Europe, predicts Ronald Cohen

Apax Europe intends to continue investing in Israel despite the new conditions created by the terrorist attack on New York, the chairman of the $12 billion venture capital fund, Ronald Cohen, told

Cohen does not believe American investment in Israeli startups will dwindle, though it's early days to make predictions. He expects VC funds to become more cautious in the near future, especially when it comes to visiting Israel to see the companies involved.

Cohen came to Israel on the occasion of launching Apax Europe 5, which has just completed obtaining $4 billion in commitments. Of that sum, $600 million will be allocated to investments in Israeli companies over the next 3 to 4 years.

After the attacks, the company decided to postpone the gala event planned for this evening.

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Moving abroad
Foreign investors will require Israeli startups to open R&D or production centers in the U.S. or Europe, beyond their operations here in Israel, Cohen expects. They may be more sensitive to the risk involved in investing in Israel after the terrorist attacks on the States, he says.

Earlier this week Patricof & Co. Ventures announced the merger of its operations with its sister fund Apax, which operates in Europe and Asia.

Patricof was founded in 1969. Three years later Ronald Cohen and Frenchman Maurice Tchenio set up MMG Ventures in London, Paris and Chicago, which is now Apax Partners. In 1977 the two organizations joined forces when Cohen and Tchenio began representing Patricof in Europe. In 1990, it was decided the activity should be split into two sister funds ? Patricof in the U.S. and Apax partners in Europe, and later in Asia as well.

Six years ago an independent arm of Apax Europe was established in Israel. In November 2000 the activity of the Israeli fund was merged with that of Apax Europe. The Israeli fund invested about $100 million in more than 30 Israeli companies over the last 16 months. Most of these investments were made in the second half of the year 2000.