Israel high tech exits slip to $6.6 bln in 2013 -IVC

JERUSALEM Mon Jan 6, 2014 5:39am EST

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JERUSALEM Jan 6 (Reuters) - Israeli technology companies had 35 venture capital-backed exits worth $4.2 billion in 2013, its best year in a decade, an IVC Research Center report showed on Monday.

Venture capital-backed exits accounted for 63 percent of a total of $6.64 billion from 80 exit deals involving Israeli and Israel-related high-tech firms last year, down from total exits of $9.7 billion in 2012. But VC-backed exits topped a 10-year average of $2.2 billion a year by 91 percent, IVC said.

The average exit transaction in 2013 reached $83 million, 51 percent above the $55 million 10-year average. VC-backed exits fared better with an average deal of $120 million.

"The number of exits above $100 million did not increase - despite common misconception - nor did higher deal valuations have a major impact on average deal size," said Koby Simana, chief executive of IVC Research Center.

"Higher average deal size mainly reflected a dramatic decline in the number of small deals below $10 million," he added. "Deals like the Waze or Given Imaging acquisitions are still few and far between, and that's unlikely to change anytime soon."

Google bought Israeli mapping start-up Waze for close to $1 billion in 2013, while medical device maker Covidien agreed to buy camera-in-a-pill maker Given Imaging for $860 million.

IVC noted that just three Israeli companies were bought for more than $1 billion the last 10 years, including the $5 billion NDS acquisition by Cisco Systems in 2012. (Reporting by Steven Scheer)

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