Israel’s SolarEdge Emerges With Saudi Deal After Biden Trip
Renewable energy company with offices in Israel and California was among 13 businesses that signed agreements during U.S. leader’s visit to kingdom
Royal Court of Saudi Arabia via Getty Images
TEL AVIV – SolarEdge Technologies, one of the biggest Israeli-American companies trading on Wall Street, became an early beneficiary of President Joe Biden’s Middle East trip when it signed an agreement with Saudi investment company Ajlan & Bros., The Circuit has learned.
SolarEdge, which is based in Herzliya, Israel, and has a North American headquarters in Milpitas, Calif., was among 13 companies from the U.S. that emerged with new agreements after Biden’s July 15-16 visit to Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Ministry of Investment said in a statement. The ministry did not refer to SolarEdge’s Israeli roots.
The company, led by Chief Executive Officer Zvi Lando, produces solar inverters, which manage photovoltaic cells to make renewable energy more efficient. Its shares on Nasdaq have tripled since 2020, giving the company a market value of $14.7 billion. It last traded at $265.85 a share and has declined 5.9 percent since the end of last year.
Ali Al-Hazmi, chief executive officer of Ajlan and its Abilitii investment unit, said in a statement that the deal with SolarEdge was one of three agreements his company concluded with American businesses that are “compatible with the kingdom’s economic and development orientations” and are connected to the environment and to sustainable, clean energy.
A person familiar with the SolarEdge agreement said the ministry statement was accurate. The company declined to describe the details, citing regulatory rules as a publicly traded company. More than 90 Israeli companies trade on Nasdaq, the most of any foreign country except China.
The Saudi investment ministry said agreements were signed in Jeddah during Biden’s visit covering a range of sectors, including energy, aerospace, healthcare, defense, textiles, manufacturing, education and tourism. One of the agreements was with Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company.
Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations and their citizens are generally barred from each other’s territory unless they have second passports issued by other countries. The conditions are similar to those in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain before the two Gulf states signed the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords, establishing formal ties with Israel. Several Israeli companies have managed to operate in Saudi Arabia through subsidiaries registered in other countries.
Biden had said his trip would push forward the process of normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, citing an agreement enabling Israeli flights to overfly the vast desert kingdom, saving time and costs to destinations in Asia. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan described the flight decision as a gesture unconnected to normalization and said at a news conference in Jeddah on Saturday that closer ties require agreement on a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.