Elbit Systems has completed a deal to buy its rival IMI Systems Ltd (formerly Israeli Military Industries) in a deal worth nearly half a billion dollars. Elbit Systems’s acquisition of the government owned defence contractor marks the end of the protracted privatisation of IMI.
IMI was originally founded back in 1933, before the state of Israel even existed, and has a long history of weapons manufacture. IMI now describe themselves as a defence solutions developer but still manufacture a large range of small arms and artillery ammunition. In 2005 IMI’s small arms division, responsible for developing weapons like the Uzi, the Galil and the Negev LMG, was sold off and renamed Israel Weapon Industries (IWI).
Israel’s president, Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed the deal:
Today we are at the end of a long and important process that began several years ago. The sale of IMI to Elbit will facilitate the advancement of the Israeli defence industry, will leverage Israel’s technological abilities, and will increase defence exports. All of these will directly contribute to the Israeli economy.
Bezhalel Machlis, president and CEO of Elbit Systems said of the deal:
The synergy between the capabilities of the two companies and the global positioning of Elbit
Originally posted on The Firearm Blog