Parent Company of Uzi Submachine Manufacturer Plans Tel Aviv IPO

SK Group has a portfolio of security- and defense-focused subsidiaries with combined annual revenue of about 2 billion shekels

SK Group's Samy Katsav
SK Group's Samy Katsav David Bachar

SK Group, a defense holding company whose subsidiaries include the maker of the iconic Uzi submachine gun, is planning an initial public offering for trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at a company valuation of at least 2 billion shekels ($565 million).

The Uzi gun, designed in the early 1950s by Uzi Gal, was viewed as revolutionary in design, with the magazine contained within the handgrip, its overall length reduced with a snub nose and fold-away stock.

The company is drawing up a draft prospectus and meeting with potential underwriters but no other details of the offering have been determined. Sources say controlling shareholder Samy Katsav would sell from 25% to 30% of the company in the market.

SK Group has a portfolio of security- and defense-focused subsidiaries with combined annual revenue of about 2 billion shekels.

Its chief units include Israel Shipyards, one of the largest shipbuilding and repair facilities in the eastern Mediterranean, and Israel Weapon Industries, which manufactures the Uzi.

In May, IWI opened a small-arms manufacturing facility in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, as part of a collaboration with Indian engineering group Punj Lloyd.