Israeli High-Tech Tempts GE Capital

TEL AVIV, Israel – GE Capital’s Equity Capital Group (ECG) in October appointed director Sam Cubac to head the group’s new office in Tel Aviv. ECG made its first foray into the Israeli market in 1997 with a $20 million joint venture with the ABS GE Capital Giza Fund, a high-technology vehicle founded in partnership with BT Alex. Brown and the Giza Group.

The creation of a direct presence in the market will enable ECG to boost its activity levels and consolidate the network of contacts arising from its participation in the Giza Fund and GE Capital’s other activities in Israel.

“Primarily we will be focusing on technology investment among mid- and later-stage private companies whilst also co-investing through the ABS GE Capital Giza Fund,” Mr. Cubac said.

Sharon Pipe, the London-based managing director of Equity Capital Group International, said the establishment of the new office in a market recognized as a center of excellence in the high-tech sector underlines ECG’s commitment to technology investment. EGC in the past has made several successful investments in e-commerce and Internet companies in the United States and will be seeking further opportunities in these sectors, as well as others, through its Israeli operation.

As part of GE’s global network, ECG is able to offer its investees valuable strategic relationships as well as funding, an attribute that should help to differentiate the group from other funding providers in a market where, according to some observers, there are perhaps more sources of high-technology funding than investment managers with appropriate experience.

Mr. Cubac, a former senior vice president of the equipment financing and leasing group of AIG and vice president of equipment financing for Manufacturers Hanover, worked for GE Capital’s commercial equipment financing arm in the U.S. for more than five years before transferring to ECG in Tel Aviv.

Worldwide, ECG has $1 billion per annum available for investment in growth, replacement and secondary capital and buyouts and buy-ins.