Visonic Raises 9.5m in London IPO

Visonic Technologies a provider of advanced alarm systems for homes and institutions, tapped the London Stock Exchange for £9.5 million at a company valuation of £35 million, the company announced yesterday.

The veteran Israeli company, cofounded in 1973 by brothers Yaacov and Moshe Kotlicki, will see its shares start trading next week Thursday, at a price of 88 pence.

The placing, in which Visonic issued 10.8 million shares, or 27 percent of its equity, was led by Dawnay, Day Corporate Finance and the Durlacher brokerage.

Yaacov Kotlicki said there were a number of reasons behind the decision to conduct the offering on the London exchange. "Our principal market is in Europe, which commands some 60 percent of out total sales, with England being one of the strongest countries," he said. "We also feel closer to Europe than to the United States from the point of view of mentality. Furthermore, the American exchange is tougher and makes many more demands of companies."

Kotlicki said the decision to conduct the offering abroad rather than in Israel had come a long a time ago. The local exchange, he said, was not yet ripe for IPOs.

Visonic said none of the board members intended to sell any of his/her shares before the company published its financial statements for 2004 (in February 2005).

Dr. Avi Shachrai, company president and CEO, commented that the company was pleased with the success of its London IPO, noting that the move should open new doors of opportunity for Visonic.

The proceeds would serve to further new product development and expand marketing, as well as finance growth through acquisitions, a statement from the company added.

Visonic has a payroll of 442 employees, most of whom are based at the company's headquarters in Kiryat Atidim, Tel Aviv, and at its production facilities in Kiryat Gat.

In 1996, it spun off Visonetix, and has a subsidiary in Karmiel called VisAccess. It also maintains sales offices in the United States, Britain, Spain, Germany, Norway, Singapore and Australia.

Its clients include British Telecom, Spain's Telefonica, ADT, Honeywell, and Siemens.

Visonic's revenues in 2003 amounted to $53 million, versus $45 million in 2002. Pretax profit was $4.7 million in 2003, versus $3.7 million in 2002 - an increase of 26 percent.

A year ago Visonic acquired Elpas, which develops asset tracking and management solutions, mainly for healthcare and educational institutions. The deal, a share swap, valued Elpas at $6.5 million, while Visonic was valued at $50 million.