Israel's Rafael, Stolero make offer for drone firm Aeronautics

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel's Aeronautics ARCS.TA, which makes unmanned aerial vehicles for military use, received an acquisition offer valuing it at 430 million shekels ($117 million) from state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and businessman Avihai Stolero.

If the deal is completed, Aeronautics would become a private company and its shares delisted, the drone manufacturer said on Thursday.

“The company plans to study the proposal,” it said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

The deal is subject to completion of due diligence, the signing of a binding agreement and receipt of various approvals.

In November Israeli police said they were investigating Aeronautics over a deal involving the drone maker. An Israeli court issued a gag order on publication of details of the investigation and identifying the suspects.

Rafael, one of Israel’s largest defense firms, produces the Iron Dome air defense system and the Spike family of guided missiles.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; editing by David Evans