, a joint venture of Israel's
, early next year plans to list on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange's
Mother Board -- Japan's equivalent of the
. If the offering goes ahead, it would be the first Israeli company to trade on the Japanese exchange.
YET develops engine monitors for the robotics industry in Rosh HaAyin. Eshed is dual-listed on the
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange
and Nasdaq with a market value of $50 million. Yaskawa trades in Tokyo at a $2.2 billion market cap.
David Israel-Rosen, Eshed Robotec's business development chief for Japan, predicted in an interview with
IPO will value the company at $500 million to $700 million, based on the level of multiples in Japan.
Rosen, who has experience in Japanese investment banking, was appointed last week to look into alternatives for business development and financing for Eshed in Japan, with an emphasis on advancing YET.
In all likelihood, it will offer between $100 million and $150 million worth of stock, some to be sold through a tender offer by Eshed. Among the underwriters with whom talks are being held are
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
YET is expected to finish 2000 with revenues of $10 million and profits of $1.9 million. Its only client so far is Yaskawa itself, but next year it is expected to begin supplying other companies, too. In-house forecasts see a possibility of its profits next year exceeding $3 million.
Among its competitors are giants like Japan's
and German conglomerate
Rosen says YET's products are exceptional for being integrative, combining both hardware and software, while competitors' products are not.
His appointment is part of Eshed's attempt in the last year to transform itself from an industrial firm to a holdings firm, specializing in robotics and educational and training software. It has five subsidiaries and 50% stakes in four other companies. CEO Rafael Aravot and the other founders, including Menachem Zenziper, Gideon Missulawin, Ahinoam Kra-Oz and Haim Schleifer, control Eshed. Rosen himself also invested $1.2 million to buy 1% of its stock a few months ago, at $10 a share.