In Focus: Eyal Szewach, VRG Israel
Q. Who is Prometheus Financial Advisory?
A. Prometheus is an independent Israeli valuation and valuation-related services firm serving clients from all industries. Thanks to a combination of hard work and deep business understanding, Prometheus has become the go-to firm when it comes to complex valuations and expert opinions.
Our client base comprises some of the largest national and multinational corporations operating in Israel, including Fortune 500 companies, as well as branches of the Israeli government, major private equity firms, and of course, hundreds of startups, as is fitting to the startup nation.
Q. What areas of your firm’s expertise contribute to the strength of VRG’s client platform?
A. Prometheus covers the four main areas of valuation and valuation-related services:
- Transaction-related: Buy/sell side valuations, investor decks, fairness opinions;
- Accounting-related: PPA studies, impairment tests, option valuations, earnout valuations. Work is IFRS / US-GAAP/ Israeli-GAAP compliant, as needed.
- Court-related: Expert opinions and testimonies for local and cross-border disputes. Services include valuations, damages calculations, forensic accounting, and solvency opinions.
- Tax-related: Business restructuring valuations, 409A valuations, transfer pricing studies.
Q. How do clients benefit from a relationship with Prometheus?
A. At Prometheus, we value professionalism and personal service above all. As such, we leave no stone unturned when it comes to seeking and finding winning arguments, because we understand that there is a lot riding on our work and that our valuations and expert opinions must be convincing and well-argued. We achieve this level of quality by having our partners personally engaged in the work, bringing to the table their long decades of experience and business insights.
Having joined VRG in early 2022, our clients can now tap into the global resources of a leading international network specifically tuned to their needs when it comes to cross-border M&A deals, litigation issues, and tax disputes.
Q. Prometheus is regularly involved in complex court-related valuations. Tell us a little about that.
A. Sure, I’m happy to explain. We recently completed a high-stakes engagement for a big U.S. investor, who happened to invest around a quarter of a billion dollars in an Israeli medical device startup. Unfortunately, that startup did not fare well, and our client fell into a dispute with its Israeli founder. To make things worse for our client (the U.S. investor), the dispute landed in the Israeli court.
Fairly quickly, it became clear that if our client wanted to turn things around, he would have to acquire the founder’s shares. The court agreed, but the price still had to be determined. Each party had to engage a valuation expert, and this is where we stepped in. We have a deep understanding of technology, thanks partly to my background as an Electronic Engineer and my 15 years of experience in dealing with startups.
After taking a deep dive into the financials of the disputed startup, I reached the grim conclusion that the value is close to zero. On the other hand, the founder commissioned a $2 billion valuation for his failed startup. The stakes were high, to say the least.
Fortunately for our client, we convinced the court-appointed valuation experts of the correctness of our analysis. Our client was able to purchase the founder’s shares for a fraction of the asking price and immediately get busy with turning around the business. I wish him success.