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November 13, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 8:25pm

ELRON BUYS ON’S ASSETS TO FORM CHANNEL FOR ISRAELI START-UPS

By CBR Staff Writer

Elron Electronics Industries Ltd, the Israeli conglomerate has started its push into the US software market with the acquisition of the network management and security products and services of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based On technology Corp. Through that acquisition Elron establishes Elron Software Inc. It will pay On up to $13.5m for the assets, which represented between $23m and $25m of On’s revenues – about 45% of the total. The products are On Guard Firewall, On Guard Internet manager and On technology SofTrack metering software. But despite having hit the ground running with the profitable businesses from On, the main purpose of Elron Software is to provide a channel for Israeli start-up companies to get into the US market. Elron Software’s chief executive is Jacov (Koby) Ben-Zvi, who is also a senior VP for business development at the parent company and the former president of the software storage management division. Ben-Zvi says he gets at least one business plan each day from Israeli companies. The parent company, which has annual revenues of $1.3bn, has stakes in 27 companies, 11 of them in the US, but up until now none of them are software concerns. Ben-Zvi intends to concentrate on a few select areas, namely application development tools, professional services and maybe, electronic commerce. However, he is at pains to point out that any company bought would have to stand on its own and account for its own top and bottom lines. He aims to have acquired at least two further companies by the end of next year. All the stakes will either be strategic or 100% acquisitions – the company does not want to try and control merely from a majority stake.

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