Deal with S. Korean giant boosts Israeli telecom firm, after financial roller coaster

Deal with S. Korean giant boosts Israeli telecom firm, after financial roller coaster

Israeli company Leadcom went from riches to near-rags in the wake of the 2008 recession. Now things seem to be on the upswing again

Ofer Ahiraz (Photo credit: Yisrael Hadary)
Ofer Ahiraz (Photo credit: Yisrael Hadary)

After more highs and lows over recent years than most companies experience in decades, Israel-based communication systems integrators Leadcom, led by CEO Ofer Ahiraz, is once again making a profit -– and expanding. This week, the company which provides cellular technology solutions in dozens of countries in Africa and South America, announced it was entering an exclusive deal with South Korea’s RF Window to distribute its cellphone signal enhancement products and technology in markets where Leadcom is active. While not releasing specific figures, Leadcom officials said that the deal was worth millions of shekels for the company.

Established in Israel in 2001, Leadcom grew by the mid-2000s to become one of the largest integrators of mobile technology in developing countries. The company listed on London’s AIM exchange in 2005, was valued at $61 million, and in 2008 was also listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The company then got involved in projects in several African countries, but the 2008 recession wreaked havoc and many of Leadcom’s customers were unable to pay for services provided. As a result, in 2009 Leadcom was placed in receivership, due to difficulties in paying creditors.

The company has recovered well over the past several years. In 2011, they “posted an unprecedented profit — over $15 million, higher than their profits in any year since operations began in 2001,” claims Ahiraz. The company, which owed over $60 million to banks and bondholders in the mid-2009, is still paying off its debts.

Meanwhile, though, the new deal with RF Window should inspire more confidence in Leadcom’s future. “After a long and complicated process, I think we can say that the deal with RF Window, one of the biggest companies in the world in the field of cellphone signal enhancement, chose us as its sole representative in many countries in Africa and South America,” Ahiraz said, adding that “with this deal, we will be able to offer our customers RF Window’s high quality products, thereby expanding our product line and market share. The many contracts Leadcom has won recently are part of Leadcom’s strategy to expand its activity. Leadcom is now leveraging its position as one of the world’s leading cellular integrators with a large footprint, implementing high professional standards in the market.”

read more: