Ferro buys digital printing co Dip-Tech for $80m

Yuval Cohen

Fortissimo will make a return of over 400% on its investment in the Israeli digital printing for glass company.

Private equity fund Fortissimo Capital, led by managing partner Yuval Cohen, is selling its holdings in Dip-Tech, a provider of solutions for digital printing on glass. The buyer, Ferro, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange at a $1.6 billion market cap, provides functional coatings and color solutions.

Fortissimo invested $7.5 million in Dip-Tech in 2011 and $4.5 million more in 2013 for a total stake of 80%. Fortissimo is now selling its holdings for $64 million (the entire company is being acquired for $80 million in cash, of which $60 million will be paid immediately and $20 million more, depending on Dip-Tech's performance in 2017-2018). This means that Fortissimo's return in its investment will be over 400% in six years.

Dip-Tech develops and markets digital printers and ceramic ink for the glass industry. Among other things, the company's solutions make it possible to print on building facades, windows, and glass walls. The company's customers also use digital printings for the auto market. The company sells its products all over the world, and has 110 employees in Israel, the US, Europe, and China.

Dip-Tech is Fortissimo's third exit in digital printing, after the sale of Nur Macroprinters to HP in 2007 and the acquisition of control in Kornit Digital, following by that company's Nasdaq IPO and sale of part of Fortissimo's holdings in the company.

As one of Israel's leading private equity funds, Fortissimo manages four funds totaling $1 billion. It invests in industrial companies, mainly companies making products, not providing services, in very diverse fields. Its holdings range from large minority stakes to full ownership.

Fortissimo's investments include Cadent, a dental company sold to Align for $190 million; Kornit Digital (in which Fortissimo invested $19 million and sold some of its holdings for $200 million, while still retaining shares with an estimated value of $90 million); Telrad Networks Ltd., which held its IPO in May – the fund sold shares for nearly $50 million and still retains a 42% stake; Telit Communications plc (AIM:TCM); Sodastream International Ltd. (Nasdaq: SODA; TASE: SODA); Phoenicia; Afimilk; Origene Seeds; Priority Software; MotoRad; and others.

In addition to Cohen, Fortissimo's partners are Eli Blatt, Shmoulik Barashi, Marc Lesnick, Yochai Hacohen, and Yoav Hineman.

Cohen said, "From a small Israeli company with unique technology, Dip-Tech has become an international market leader with significant inventions and clear differentiation. Dip-Tech now has a key presence in the market and its revolutionary digital technology has substantially changed the glass printing industry."

A month ago, Fortissimo acquired full ownership of sterilization equipment company Tuttnauer for $100 million. Tuttnauer is a global leader in sterilization systems for laboratories, hospitals, and medical clinics. The company's annual turnover is believed to be in the tens of millions of dollars, and it sells its products in in many countries, mainly through regular long-standing distributors.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on August 2, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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