American library automation giant ProQuest has acquired its Israeli competitor Ex Libris for an estimated $500 million, one of the largest “exits” for an Israeli company in recent years, and the latest in a string of foreign acquisitions.
Three years ago, Jerusalem-based Ex Libris was bought for $250 million by private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, which is now selling it to ProQuest – for double the price. The acquisition is expected to close in the coming months.
This deal comes only one month after Israeli medical startup Valtech was acquired by American medical device maker HeartWare for a whopping $920 million. And in June, Hong Kong-based investment group XIO bought Israeli medical device firm Lumenis for $510 million. This latest “shopping spree” reflects higher price tags for Israeli companies: The average “exit” deal was $212 million in 2014, according to accountancy firm PwC Israel.
ProQuest, a provider of information solutions primarily to academic institutions, bought Ex Libris Group, a leading provider of management software for libraries around the world, thanks to their shared expertise: “The capabilities of ProQuest and Ex Libris span expertise in print, electronic and digital content, as well as solutions for library management, discovery and research workflows,” according to Ex Libris.
Bringing these complementary assets together will enable ProQuest and Ex Libris to offer new services that address some of libraries’ most pressing challenges: Disparate workflows for print, electronic and digital resources, and navigation of complex and rapidly changing technology, content and user environments.
Spun off from the Hebrew University over 30 years ago, Ex Libris employs 380 people locally and an additional 220 around the globe. It is now considered a leading global provider of library automation solutions, serving 5,600 institutions in 90 countries. According to the company, a grand 43 of the top 50 universities worldwide and 40 national libraries employ Ex Libris solutions.
Ex Libris is “helping hundreds of institutions worldwide to improve their libraries’ value to their users,” ProQuest CEO Kurt Sanford said in a statement. “Together, the companies will build on and create more groundbreaking library services, bringing additional value to our customers and the broader industry.”
According to Ex Libris CEO Matti Shem-Tov, “the combined talent and expertise of ProQuest and Ex Libris will enable more efficient development and support of our leading solutions, and will accelerate innovation in both current and new products.”
Photos and video: Ex Libris