Viola Group Takes 20 Percent Stake in Israel’s RRSat

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Viola Group, an Israel-focused private equity firm with nearly $2 billion in assets under management, has acquired 20 percent of the outstanding shares of RRSat Global Communications Network Ltd. for about $8 per share, Israel-based RRSat announced April 23.

In transactions that took place April 4, Viola Group acquired 13 percent of RRSat’s shares from Kardan Communications Ltd. and 7 percent from David Rivel, RRSat’s founder and former chief executive, the announcement said. Kardan and Rivel will continue to hold 11 percent and 5 percent of RRSat’s shares, respectively, according to RRSat, a provider of satellite network solutions to the global broadcasting industry.

RRSat’s total market capitalization as of May 1 was approximately $141 million, which would put the combined value of the transactions at about $28 million. RRSat is not a party to the agreements and will not be issuing any new shares in connection with the transactions, the company said.

“These agreements represent a significant vote of confidence by a leading private equity investment group led by an experienced team focused on technology growth opportunities in Israel,” RRSat Chief Executive Avi Cohen said in a prepared statement. “These agreements help improve the diversification of our shareholder base, adds another large and sophisticated shareholder and demonstrates confidence in our business.”

Meanwhile, RRSat announced April 1 several changes to its leadership team, including the appointment of Ohad Har-Lev as president of the company’s U.S. subsidiary, RRSat America. The appointment of Har Lev, previously RRSat’s general counsel, signifies the company’s intent to expand its presence in the U.S. market, RR Sat said.