from the April 2009 issue

Israeli start-up Delver acquired by Sears

US retailer Sears Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq: SHLD) has acquired Israeli start-up Delver Ltd., which was on the verge of closing down after failing to raise additional $6 million in capital. The size of the deal was not disclosed, but it was probably not large, after Delver's failed financing attempt.

Delver co-founder and CEO Liad Agmon will move to the US and become a VP at Sears. Delver's employees will continue to work in Israel and the company will operate as a Sears' development center. Delver will continue development of its search engine that improves the relevancy of web search results by prioritizing these results based upon the searcher's social network, as well as new products.

The acquisition fits in with Sears' policy to get into on-line services. As part of the retailer's restructuring in early 2008, it reorganized into five relatively independent units: operating businesses, support, brands, e-commerce, and real estate. Sears chairman Edward Lampert is the owner of hedge fund ESL Investments Inc., which controls the company.

A month ago, it was disclosed that Delver would close within 30 days, unless it found a buyer. "We've been unable to raise capital in the current climate, and we're now seeking a buyer for the company, alongside negotiations with private investors.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report April 2009

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