Eddy Shalev has sold his Tel Aviv-based institutional brokerage E. Shalev to
. CIBC will be turning it into its arm in Israel, to be known as CIBC Oppenheimer Tel Aviv.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the mechanism is known to be an earnout deal, in which CIBC will be paying Shalev instalments stretching over years, contingent on developments.
Eddy Shalev denied the rumor making the rounds in recent weeks that the price was around $40 million. A few months ago TheMarker.com reported that Shalev was looking to sell his brokerage for around $15 million. At the time Shalev commented that he had received some offers but rejected them all.
E. Shalev accounts for a substantial portion of all Israeli equity orders placed on U.S. markets, CIBC announced. Various assessments say that E. Shalev handles about half that market. The brokerage also serves the Israeli venture capital industry. Aside from its trading activitied, E. Shalev also provides research on Israeli tech companies, distributes shares of Israeli companies that issued elsewhere, and provides clearing and back-office services to its customers.
As Eran Goren, the CEO of E. Shalev rival Nessuah Zannex said: "The main asset of Shalev's brokerage is its long-term reputation and widespread, established relationshp with investors and banks in Israel and abroad. This isn't a startup, it's a company with a serious business presence, history and profits."
At the time Goren assessed that E. Shalev's activity justifies a price of $15 million. Relative to these earlier assessments, a price tag of $50 million seems excessive. But it may reflect the company's considerable profitability. E. Shalev serves as a market maker for many of the Israeli companies traded abroad and mediator of other foreign securities, and makes a certain percentage off each deal.
The scope of Israeli activity in foreign securities, and in Israeli stocks traded on Wall Street, has grown hugely in recent years. E. Shalev has benefited directly from this trend.
Oppenheimer Tel Aviv will maintain E. Shalev's activities with institutional clients, such as banks, mutual funds, pension funds and money managers, CIBC announced. Among E. Shalev's clients are Mizrahi Bank, which handles all its actions in non-Israeli securities through its offices.
E. Shalev employs about 50 peopole. It was founded about 30 years ago as a representation of Osar Gruss, and later entered into relations with Oppenheimer, that was itself later taken over by the Canadian bank CIBC. CIBC Oppenheimer division, CIBC World Markets has had a full-service relationship with E. Shalev since 1996.
Eddy Shalev is no longer as closely involved in running the brokerage as in the past. Now he focuses most of his energies on running the Genesis venture capital fund. Its first VC fund, founded in 1997, has $75 million under management and has already exited several investments, including in
(Nasdaq:AUDC). It also sold its interest in EDSL, a company taken over by
(Nasdaq:ORCT) for $32 million worth of shares.
Altogether the Genesis funds have some $350 million under management. The group's most recent exit was from
(Nasdaq:CKSW), which recently raised $28 million on Nasdaq.