JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel will sell state-owned weapons maker IMI Systems to Elbit Systems (ESLT.TA) for 1.8 billion shekels ($523 million), the Finance Ministry said on Sunday.
A deal would likely see Elbit top Israel Aerospace Industries as the country’s biggest defense contractor.
Elbit was the last remaining bidder among five which had shown interest in IMI, a manufacturer of military systems best known as a maker of the Uzi submachine gun, the ministry said.
Elbit shares were up 5.8 percent in Tel Aviv.
The government announced its intention to privatize IMI in 2013.
The ministry said negotiations had taken “a number of months” and that Elbit might pay an additional 100 million shekels depending on IMI’s results.
IMI Systems reported 2016 sales of $628 million, mostly in Israel.
The acquisition will require approval from Israel’s antitrust authority.
Elbit declined to comment.
Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Steven Scheer, Editing by Tova Cohen