Israeli debut for OFEX

Pinchas Dror, an Israeli diplomat and industrialist, is seeking to bring Ofex its first Israeli company in the shape of ESPRO Information Technologies.

ESPRO is a market leader in multi-lingual audio guidance systems for ‘cultural centres’, tourist attractions, walking tours and trade shows. Formerly Israel’s minister for Economic Affairs in Washington and head of Israeli industrial group Oil Refineries, Dror chairs ESPRO, which hopes to join the private share market after a £990,000 placing at 45p, handled by Ofex adviser St Helen’s Capital.

If successful, the placing should put a value of some £5.5 million on ESPRO, which is poised to make an acquisition in the UK to add 50 per cent to its turnover. ESPRO claims to be the third largest company in the ‘audio guide industry’ and boasts in-house proprietary software, ‘My Collection’, developed with American giant Hewlett Packard.

This enables site visitors to bookmark and collect customised catalogues and personally selected posters at the end of their visits to sites. ESPRO guides sell at centres, tours and trade shows in 16 countries, generating 90 per cent of revenues from Europe.

Dror is in the chair, but ESPRO is run by Israel Gal, 53, president and chief executive officer of the company since 1997, a veteran of Israeli holding company Koor, mortgage lender Bank Tefahot and currently a director of Nasdaq-traded Elbit Vision Systems. Other board members include Simon Bentley, also a director of Kensington Estates and a past director of Blacks Leisure in the UK.

Gal initiated the alliance with Hewlett Packard. Potential investors will hope he can hasten the company’s move towards profitability, after cutting last year’s losses 33 per cent to £446,000 on turnover nine per cent up at £2 million.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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