As more and more Israeli companies have been flocking to the London AIM market over the past year, Ofex, the independent public market for small and mid-sized companies, seeks to open a window of opportunity for small Israeli companies to go public and expand their global reach.
"We are here to attract the interest of Israeli companies who are too small or can not afford to list on AIM. We have seen a great increase of Israeli companies wanting to reach the shores of the London markets instead of the US markets. We can offer them a market that is better suited for their needs," Simon Brickles, CEO of Ofex, said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post at the end of a seminar held at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
The visit by Ofex, the smallest of London's three stock markets, was being arranged in cooperation with investment house MG Equity Partners, which specializes in private placements and public issues in London.
"Looking ahead to 2006, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot more Israeli companies coming to list on Ofex in as much as we have seen them listing on AIM," said Amir Raveh CEO of MG Equity Partners, who advised Espro Information Technologies, the first Israeli company to list on Ofex.
About 90 Israeli companies, particularly in the information technology, telecommunications and bio-medical sectors took part in the seminar presented by Ofex on Monday. Venture capital funds and the managers of local financial institutions also attended the seminar. Prospective issues en route to the Ofex market are Beyond Technologies and Milim among others.
"Small growth companies or start-ups in Israel have great difficulty finding growth capital. As AIM is starting to serve larger companies with bigger offerings, Ofex offers a viable alternative for those seeking a market for tradeable shares, added profile and a facility for raising finance," said Raveh.
The average IPO on AIM prices companies at about GBP30 million whereas the average IPO on Ofex prices companies between GBP5m. to GBP10m. On average companies can raise between GBP1m. and GBP5m. on Ofex.