Technology giant Apple is putting together the deal for its first acquisition in Israel.
Calcalist has learned that Apple is in advanced negotiations for the acquisition of Israeli startup Anobit for about $400-$500 million.
Anobit developed a chip which enhances flash drive performance through signal processing (DSP). The chip is already incorporated in Apple's bestselling devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and the MacBook Air.
Concurrently with its negotiations with Apple, Anobit is examining a large financing round with a leading Asian flash memory manufacturer. Talks with Apple will possibly boil down to the American giant becoming a strategic investor in Anobit.
Apple is likely interested in Anobit's technology to increase and enhance the memory volume and performance of its devices. The chip may as much as double the memory volume in the new iPads and MacBooks.
Apple's designs for Anobit, which currently has 200 employees, are yet unknown. Estimates are that Apple will hold on to the Israeli employees and possibly even open a local R&D center that will recruit more employees.
Benefiting from the deal with Apple, if signed, will be founders Professor Ehud Weinstein, Ariel Maislos and Ofir Shalvi.
The company's investors, whose investments in the company over the past four years amount to $76 million, will also cut a coupon off the deal – Israeli fund Pitango, American Battery Ventures and Intel's and Micron Technologies' VC funds.
Aside from the three founders, Anobit's board of director includes Rami Bracha from Pitango and Battery's Scott Tobin.
For Pitango Venture Capital, the deal may be its second exit within a month after having sold Video Surf to Microsoft.
Anobit and Apple were unavailable for comment.
Meir Orbach contributed to this report
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