Israel Military Industries (IMI) purchased by Elbit Systems


Elbit Systems completed the purchase of the so-far state-owned Israel Military Industries (IMI) on 25 November in a deal potentially worth upwards of NIS 1.8 billion ($495 million), officials said. As reported by The Times of Israel, the sale, first announced in March 2018, went through this week after the Finance Ministry finished the process of allowing the once government-controlled company to privatize. The privatization of IMI was first approved by the cabinet in 2013. Elbit won the government’s tender process for the purchase.


Israel Military Industries IMI purchased by Elbit Systems
Elbit's satellite communications vehicle (Picture source: Elbit Systems)


The acquisition has been praised by Israeli government officials, who claimed it was a positive step for both the country’s defense industry and for its real estate, as Elbit was expected to sell off IMI’s facilities in Ramat HaSharon and Tirat HaCarmel and move to the Negev desert, freeing up space for housing in those popular areas in central Israel. According to Elbit, it has already paid NIS 1.8 billion to purchase the company from the Israeli government and will pay an additional NIS 100 million ($27 million) if IMI hits certain benchmarks in the future.

IMI, referred to in Hebrew by its acronym Ta’as, is the maker of iconic Israeli infantry firearms like the Uzi, the Galil assault rifle and the Negev machine gun, as well as much of the IDF ground forces’ ammunition, multiple types of rockets for air and artillery systems, and precision ordnance. The director-general of the Defense Ministry, Udi Adam, said steps were taken to ensure that classified military information that was held by IMI remained secure despite its absorption into a privately held company.


 

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