Israel’s Wix Said to Pick JPMorgan for U.S. IPO on RallyDavid Wainer, Lee Spears and Victoria Stilwell
Wix.com Inc., an Israeli provider of online tools that help people create websites, chose JPMorgan Chase & Co. to lead its initial public offering in the U.S., according to two people familiar with the matter.
Wix, based in Tel Aviv, will seek about $75 million in the offering, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are private. Caesarstone Sdot Yam Ltd. was the last Israeli company to list in New York, raising $84.25 million in its IPO a year ago. The maker of quartz-based countertops led gains on the Bloomberg Israel-US Equity Index of the largest Israeli companies in the U.S. yesterday, jumping 7.9 percent.
Founded in 2006, Wix joins Kamada Ltd., which makes medical treatments, and software developer Babylon Ltd. among Israeli companies looking to list in the U.S., after Caesarstone’s 127 percent surge since its March debut made it the second-most successful foreign IPO in New York. The 24-stock Israeli-US measure has rallied 3.1 percent in 2013, while the Nasdaq Composite Index has gained 6.4 percent.
“The appetite for IPOs is strong,” Linda Killian, portfolio manager of the Renaissance Global IPO Plus Aftermarket Fund, which has about $10 million in assets, said by phone yesterday. “There’s tremendous demand for tech deals, except they need to have a differentiated product and be able to show growth.”
Renaissance Global holds shares of Caesarstone and SodaStream International Ltd., the Airport City, Israel-based maker of home soda machines that debuted on U.S. markets in 2010. SodaStream has rallied 162 percent since its offering. Renaissance’s IPO Plus Aftermarket fund has returned 14 percent in 2013 and beaten 99 percent of its peers.
The Bloomberg Israel-US index rose 1.1 percent to 89.04 yesterday, climbing for the first time in four trading days. Israel’s benchmark TA-25 Index added 1.4 percent to 1,241.90 in Tel Aviv.
Wix runs an online platform that allows people to create web pages without the need for computer-programming skills, according to the company’s website. Tasha Pelio, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan, declined to comment when contacted by e-mail yesterday. Michael Eisenberg, a Wix board member and partner at Benchmark Capital, the venture-capital firm that invested in Wix in 2010, also declined to comment.
Kamada, based in Nes Ziona, Israel, hired Morgan Stanley and Jefferies Group Inc. to arrange the sale of as much as $50 million of stock in the U.S., a person familiar with the plans said last month.
Babylon, which has lost 3.2 percent in Tel Aviv this year through yesterday, will seek to raise $115 million in a New York IPO, Chief Executive Officer Alon Carmeli said Jan. 9. Babylon gained 2.7 percent to 21.16 shekels, or $5.78, in Tel Aviv today.
Israeli companies have sold $417 million of stock in IPOs globally over the past two years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Caesarstone was the only Israeli company to undertake an IPO in 2012, making it the slowest year for initial share sales since 2009, when D-Pharm Ltd. raised $6.47 million in Tel Aviv, the only IPO that year, the data show.
Bessemer Venture Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners SA invested in Wix in 2007, according to the company’s website, while Insight Venture Partners and DAG Ventures LP invested in 2011, the website shows.