Israeli tech exits reach six-year low in first half of 2020

JERUSALEM, July 15 (Reuters) - Israel saw a steep drop in high-tech exits in the first half of 2020 with the global COVID-19 outbreak spurring buyers to preserve cash rather than invest in acquisitions, according to an IVS-Meitar report on Wednesday.

The first six months of the year saw the biggest decline in six years, with 52 exits, a 32% drop from a year earlier, totaling $5.82 billion, down 22%. Exits include initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and buyouts.

Shira Azran, partner at law firm Meitar, said the downtrend is expected to continue in the second half.

"On the other hand, we see that in many companies the growth processes continued during the COVID-19 crisis as well, and we see specific sectors that are flourishing and were given an unprecedented ground for accelerated growth, such as digital health, fintech and generally digital services," Azran said.

"That will hopefully be the basis for exits in future years."

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen)

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