November 25, 2018 / 12:14 PM / 23 days ago

Elbit completes purchase of Israel's IMI after government approval

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Israeli defence electronics firm Elbit Systems is seen at their offices in Haifa, Israel February 26, 2017. Picture taken February 26, 2017. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems (ESLT.TA) said on Sunday it completed a $500 million deal to buy state-owned rival IMI Systems after receiving government approval for the privatization of IMI last week.

Elbit (ESLT.O) paid $495 million for IMI, with an additional payment of $27 million contingent on IMI meeting agreed performance goals.

“The synergy between the capabilities of the two companies ... will enable us to offer an enhanced portfolio and to realize the potential of the technologies of IMI in the international arena, making this acquisition significant to our long-term growth strategy,” Elbit CEO Bezhalel Machlis said.

As part of the deal, some of IMI’s operations will be moved, paving the way for more than 30,000 housing units to be built.

The government announced in 2013 its intention to privatize IMI, a manufacturer of military systems best known for being an early maker of the Uzi submachine gun. Elbit was the last remaining bidder among five that had shown interest.

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen

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