Nice Gains on Report of Verint Acquisition Talks: Tel Aviv Mover

Nice Systems Ltd. advanced to the highest level in almost six months after Calcalist said the Israeli maker of analytical telecommunications products is in talks to buy competitor Verint Systems Inc.

The shares of Nice gained 6.5 percent to 139.1 shekels, the highest since July 31, at the market close in Tel Aviv, bringing the company’s market value to 8.53 billion shekels. Nice, trading 3.9 times the three-month average daily volume, led the benchmark TA-25 index which gained 0.1 percent.

The two companies have been holding talks for more than a month, the newspaper reported on its website without saying where it got the information. Nice, based in Ra’anana, Israel, would buy Verint at a 25 percent premium to its U.S. share price in exchange for cash and shares, the paper said. The joint company would be valued at $4 billion, it reported. Verint shares surged 8.4 percent to $34.129 at 9:37 a.m. in New York.

Melville, New York-based Verint, a maker of analytic solutions of communications, interception, digital video security and surveillance software, has a market value of $1.26 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nice makes solutions that manage and analyze multimedia content and transactional data, such as telephony, web, radio and video communications.

“The deal makes sense because of synergies between the companies, which operate in parallel sectors and complement each other,” Zach Herzog, head of international sales at Psagot Investment House Ltd., said today by phone from Tel Aviv. “This merger has been speculated upon already for many years as Verint appears to be a natural target. The question is if the U.S. regulators would approve such a deal since they are the two major players in the important security sector.”

‘Always Speculation’

“There has always been speculation on this subject and as always the company does not comment on speculation,” Hanna Yonai, a spokeswoman for Nice said today by phone.

Nice acquired Actimize Ltd., a maker of fraud-detection software, for $280 million in 2007 and revenue growth is expected to be driven by companies looking to analyze client interactions, according to UBS AG.

Comverse Technology owns a 41 percent stake in Verint, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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