June 14, 2011, Updated September 12, 2012

Another two big acquisitions of Israeli companies: European private equity firm Permira bought 61 percent of drip irrigation company Netafim and the US-based Citigroup’s venture capital arm is acquiring Ness Technologies.

According to reports, Permira bought shares from Kibbutz Yiftah, Kibbutz Magal, Tene Investments and Markstone Capital at a company value of $900 million.

Kibbutz Hatzerim owns the other 39% of Netafim and has first refusal rights on the purchase of shares. The Calcalist financial newspaper reported that Hatzerim had 90 days to submit its own offer.

Netafim is a world leader in its water-saving irrigation methods. The company has more than 2,000 employees at 13 plants in 11 countries, including four plants in Israel.

Permira, a European private equity firm with a global reach, is reportedly interested in acquiring Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings from IDB Holding, as well.

In related news, information technology services provider Ness Technologies said it has agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Citigroup’s venture capital arm for $307 million in cash.

The sale, to an affiliate of Citi Venture Capital International, is expected to close in the next three to six months, Ness said.

Ness was recently awarded a five-year contract worth more than $75 million from Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of Barclays Bank, to establish an Israel Development and Engineering Center (IDEC), which will provide technology development and engineering services.


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