Noam Lanir has made a paper profit of NIS 200 million on his investment in online translation company Babylon Ltd. (TASE:BBYL) since acquiring control of the company two years ago.
During this period, Babylon has grown from an English-Hebrew translation service into a global internet company, most of whose revenue comes from online searches. Its market cap has risen nine-fold to cross the NIS 1 billion threshold.
According to Alexa, Babylon's website is ranked 45th most popular website in the world, up from 55th place last January. This fact helps explain Babylon's ability to improve its standing among its partners, ranging from small local search engines through Google. For the sake of comparison, Alexa ranks Ask.com in 56th place, Conduit in 73rd, and Perion Networks Inc. (Nasdaq:PERI: TASE:PERI) (formerly Incredimail) in 1,235th place.
Lanir acquired control of Babylon for about NIS 20 million. He subsequently bought more shares at NIS 17 per share for a total of NIS 6.8 million, and more shares through Livermore Investments Group Ltd. (AIM:LIV), sold some of them, and, according to a "Globes" analysis, made a paper profit of NIS 200 million.
Babylon's share price rose 5.1% by midday to NIS 21.97, giving a market cap of NIS 1.02 billion.
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