By Ty McMahan
Dow Jones Newswire
Friday, January 05, 2007
Athlone Global Security Inc. is planning to compile a $200 million private equity fund for investing in anti-terror technology companies in Israel or those with a presence there.
Gordon Hawke, the firm's chief executive, said Athlone is in the initial stages of the fund's launch and is meeting with potential limited partners. Four investments have been made and two more are in their "final due diligence" from the firm's initial seed capital. Hawke said those investments will eventually be added to about 25 other investments planned for the fund in early stage homeland security companies.
"In Israel, there are a lot of these interesting, technology-based products," Hawke said. "They are well ahead of the rest of the countries. We literally have hundreds to choose from for those 25 investments."
New York-based Athlone has invested in DefenSoft Planning Systems, an Israeli homeland security company that develops software solutions for planning defense and security systems; EMZA Visual Sense, maker of the Wise Eye surveillance camera system; and Moozitech, a software security company that provides a diagnostic tool that prevents vulnerabilities and intrusions from terrorists, hackers and fraud.
Athlone has also invested in Icaros Inc., a Maryland-based company with research and development facilities in Israel that has developed hardware and software that creates a geographical database delivering accurate three-dimensional photomaps and a three dimensional monitoring change detection technology.
To give the Israeli companies a U.S. base and key American contacts, Athlone has partnered with an incubator, the Chesapeake Innovation Center in Annapolis, Md. The center has other partnerships with International Business Machines Corp., Northrup Grumman Corp., and other established U.S companies with growing interest in homeland security companies and products.
Founded in 2005, Athlone also has offices in Tel Aviv and Toronto. The firm's management and advisory teams include businessmen and former military personnel from the U.S., Israel and Canada.