20-F 1 zk1516531.htm 20-F zk1516531.htm


 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 20-F
 
o
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
OR

x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014
 
OR
 
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
OR

o
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from __________ to __________
 
Commission file number 0-30862
 
_________________________
 
CERAGON NETWORKS LTD.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
_______________________
 
Israel
(Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)
24 Raoul Wallenberg Street, Tel Aviv 69719, Israel
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Nisan Ben-Hamo (+972) 3-543-1231 (tel.), (+972) 3-543-1600 (fax), 24 Raoul Wallenberg Street, Tel Aviv 69719, Israel
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile Number and Address of Company Contact Person)

________________________
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of Each Class
Ordinary Shares, Par Value NIS 0.01
Name of Exchange of Which Registered
Nasdaq Global Select Market
                                                                     
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:  None
 
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:  None
 
 
 

 
 
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report:   52,457,168 Ordinary Shares, NIS 0.01 par value.
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  
 
Yes ¨   No þ
 
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant  to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  
 
Yes ¨   No þ
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days:
 
Yes þ   No ¨
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (Section 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).
 
Yes þ   No ¨
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one)
 
Large accelerated filer ¨                                              Accelerated filer þ                                           Non-accelerated filer ¨
 
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
U.S. GAAP þ
 
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ¨
 
Other ¨
 
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow:  
 
Item 17 ¨   Item 18 ¨
 
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
 
Yes ¨   No þ
 
 
 

 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
 
PART I
 
PART II
 
 
94
  PART III
 
 
97
 
 
- i - 

 
 
INTRODUCTION
 
Definitions
 
In this annual report, unless the context otherwise requires:
 
 
·
references to “Ceragon,” the “Company,” “us,” “we” and “our” refer to Ceragon Networks Ltd. (the “Registrant”), an Israeli company, and its consolidated subsidiaries;
 
 
·
references to “ordinary shares,” “our shares” and similar expressions refer to the Registrant’s Ordinary Shares, NIS 0.01 nominal (par) value per share;
 
 
·
references to “dollars,” “U.S. dollars” and “$” are to United States Dollars;
 
 
·
references to “shekels” and “NIS” are to New Israeli Shekels, the Israeli currency;
 
 
·
references to the “Companies Law” are to Israel’s Companies Law, 5759-1999 and regulations promulgated thereunder;
 
 
·
references to the “SEC” are to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission; and
 
 
·
references to the "Nasdaq Rules" are to rules of the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
 
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
 
This annual report includes certain statements that are intended to be, and are hereby identified as, “forward-looking statements” for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events.
 
Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “continue,” “believe” or other similar expressions, but are not the only way these statements are identified.  These statements discuss future expectations, plans and events, contain projections of results of operations or of financial condition or state other “forward-looking” information.  When a forward-looking statement includes an underlying assumption, we caution that, while we believe the assumption to be reasonable and make it in good faith, assumed facts almost always vary from actual results, and the difference between a forward-looking statement and actual results can be material.  Forward-looking statements may be found in Item 4: “Information on the Company” and Item 5: “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” and in this annual report generally. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements as a result of various factors, including all the risks discussed in “Risk Factors” and other cautionary statements in this annual report.  All of our forward-looking statements are qualified by and should be read in conjunction with those disclosures. Except as may be required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  In light of these risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this annual report might not occur.
 
PART I
 
ITEM 1.                      IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS
 
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 2.                      OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
 
Not applicable.
 
 
 
1

 
 
ITEM 3.                      KEY INFORMATION
 
 
Selected Financial Data
 
The selected financial data set forth in the table below have been derived from our audited historical financial statements for each of the years from 2010 to 2014. The selected consolidated statement of operations data for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, and the selected consolidated balance sheet data at December 31, 2013 and 2014, have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements set forth in Item 18: “FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.” The selected consolidated statement of operations data for the years 2010 and 2011 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data at December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012, have been derived from our previously published audited consolidated financial statements, which are not included in this annual report. This selected financial data should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and are qualified entirely by reference to such consolidated financial statements. We prepare our consolidated financial statements in U.S. dollars and in accordance with United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“U.S. GAAP”).  You should read the consolidated financial data with the section of this annual report entitled Item 5: “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” and our consolidated financial statements and the notes to those financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report.
 
    Year ended December 31,  
Consolidated Statement of Operations
 
2010
   
2011
   
2012
   
2013
   
2014
 
Data:
 
(In thousands, except share and per share data)
 
                               
Revenues
  $ 249,852     $ 445,269     $ 446,651     $ 361,772     $ 371,112  
Cost of revenues
    160,470       323,191       308,354       249,543       286,670  
Gross profit
    89,382       122,078       138,297       112,229       84,442  
Operating expenses:
                                       
Research and development
    25,115       50,456       47,487       42,962       35,004  
Selling and marketing
    37,179       81,716       77,326       67,743       56,059  
General and administrative.
    12,328       26,524       27,519       26,757       23,657  
Restructuring costs
    --       7,834       4,608       9,345       6,816  
Goodwill impairment
    --       --       --       --       14,765  
Other income (loss)
    --       --       --       (7,657 )     (19,827 )
Acquisition related cost
    775       4,919       --       --       --  
Total operating expenses
    75,397       171,449       156,940       139,150       116,474  
Operating income (loss)
    13,985       (49,371 )     (18,643 )     (26,921 )     (32,032 )
Financial income, (expense) net     1,255       (2,024 )     (3,547 )     (14,018 )     (37,946 )
Income (loss) before taxes
    15,240       (51,395 )     (22,190 )     (40,939 )     (69,978 )
Tax benefit (taxes on income)
    (1,178 )     (2,259 )     (1,201 )     (6,539 )     (6,501 )
Net income (loss)
     14,062       (53,654 )     (23,391 )     (47,478 )     (76,479 )
Basic net earnings (loss) per share
  $ 0.40     $ (1.49 )   $ (0.64 )   $ (1.23 )   $ (1.22 )
Diluted net earnings (loss) per share
  $  0.38     $ (1.49 )   $ (0.64 )   $ (1.23 )   $ (1.22 )
Weighted average number of shares used in computing basic earnings (loss) per share
           34,854,657              35,975,434             36,457,989             38,519,606             62,518,602  
Weighted average number of shares used in computing diluted earnings (loss) per share
         36,564,830            35,975,434           36,457,989           38,519,606           62,518,602  

 
2

 
 
     
At December 31,
 
     
2010
     
2011
     
2012
     
2013
     
2014
 
     
(In thousands)
 
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:                                        
Cash and cash equivalents, short and long term bank deposits, short and long term marketable securities 
  $ 81,533     $ 49,531     $ 51,589     $ 52,337     $ 42,371  
Working capital                                              
    167,509       154,987       129,407       106,765       87,748  
Total assets                                              
    287,182       411,158       393,596       365,971       341,873  
Total long term liabilities                                              
    8,600       76,664       69,767       52,498       31,822  
Shareholders’ equity                                              
    204,169       161,051       143,709       135,078       104,552  
 
Risk Factors
 
The following risk factors, among others, could affect our business, results of operations or financial condition and cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements made by us. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and we assume no obligation to update this information.  You should carefully consider the risks described below, in addition to the other information contained elsewhere in this annual report. The following risk factors are not the only risk factors that the Company faces. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also affect our business. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be seriously harmed if any of the events underlying any of these risks or uncertainties actually occur. In that event, the market price for our ordinary shares could decline.
 
Risks Relating to Our Business
 
We have incurred substantial net losses and negative operating cash flows over the past three years and we cannot assure you that we will successfully achieve profitability and positive operating cash flows.

We incurred substantial net losses over the past three years. Our net losses were $23.4 million, $47.5 million and $76.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. The Company has had and continues to experience, significant fluctuations in its working capital needs and has generated net operating cash flow of $7.2 million, $(29.5) million, and $(32.3) million for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013, 2014, respectively. Our profitability has been negatively impacted by the decrease in sales revenues in years 2013 and 2014 compared to 2012, a significant decrease in our gross margin in 2014 and significant expenses, costs and charges associated with our organizational restructuring activities in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
 
 
3

 

We are focusing on our innovative IP-20 platform to increase our revenues while making efforts to increase our gross margins and efficiency and control costs in order to enhance our profitability. However, we cannot be certain that the introduction of the IP-20 platform and these actions or others that we may take in the future will result in growth in revenue, operating profitability or net income or improved operating cash flow in subsequent periods.

Fluctuating working capital needs may require additional or alternate cash resources. If we are unable to obtain such resources our ability to fund operations could be impaired.
 
We have experienced significant fluctuations in liquidity and in our working capital needs. Our working   capital needs are primarily impacted by the volume of our business and its profitability, our payment terms with our vendors and customers and the level of inventory we need to maintain in order to meet our contractual obligations.
 
We believe that our cash resources can support our business plan for at least the next 12 months; nevertheless changes and fluctuations in the above elements may require additional cash. Should our cash needs increase; we may need to raise additional funds through public or private debt or equity offerings. If we are not able to raise other capital or borrow additional funds, we may not be able to fund our working capital and operational needs which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.
 
However, our credit facility from our syndicate of banks provides for a gradual reduction of the maximum amount of loans from $63.5 million to $50 million by February 28, 2016. In addition, as our credit facility period ends at June 30, 2016, we will have to extend the credit facility agreement or replace it with another financing arrangement in order to support the operations beyond June 30, 2016. Our inability to extend this credit facility under terms applicable to our business plans or to find alternate sources for it may have material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.
 
We could be adversely affected by our failure to comply with the covenants in our credit agreement or by the failure of any bank to provide us with credit under committed credit facilities.
 
We have a committed credit facility available for our use from a syndicate of four banks. Our credit agreement contains financial and other covenants requiring that we maintain, among other things, a certain ratio between our shareholders’ equity and the total value of our assets on our balance sheet, a certain ratio between our net financial debt to each of our working capital and accounts receivable, and a minimum cash covenant. Any failure to comply with the covenants, including due to poor financial performance, may constitute a default under the credit agreement and may require us to seek an amendment or waiver from the banks to avoid termination of their commitments and/or an immediate repayment of all outstanding amounts under the credit facilities which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and ability to operate. In addition, the payment may be accelerated and the credit facility may be cancelled upon an event in which a current or future shareholder acquires control (as defined under Israel Securities Law) of us. For more information, please refer to Item 5: “OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS; Liquidity and Capital Resources”.
 
In addition, the credit facility is provided by the syndication with each bank agreeing severally (and not jointly) to make its agreed portion of the credit loans to us in accordance with the terms of the credit loan agreement, which includes a framework for joint decision making powers by the banks. If one or more of the banks providing the committed credit facility were to default on its obligation to fund its commitment, the portion of the committed facility provided by such defaulting bank would not be available to us.
 
 
4

 

Due to the volume of our sales in emerging markets, we are susceptible to a number of political, economic and regulatory risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.
 
A majority of our sales are made in countries in Latin America, Africa, India and Asia Pacific. For each of the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2014, sales in these regions accounted for approximately 73% of our revenues. As a result, the occurrence of any international, political, regulatory or economic events in these regions could adversely affect our business and result in significant revenue shortfalls and collection risk. Any such revenue shortfalls and/or collection risk could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, in 2011, following the regulatory investigation in the Indian telecommunications market, which culminated in the revocation by the Supreme Court of India in 2012 of a large number of licenses and radio frequency spectrum, sales by vendors, including us, to telecommunications operators in India significantly decreased in 2013 and in the first half of 2014. In addition, substantial import controls into Argentina are currently in effect under which we need to obtain tax and customs authorities’ approvals for import activities. To date we have been able to obtain all required approvals, but we cannot assure you that more stringent requirements will not be imposed in the future. Due to the continued Venezuelan government policy that limits our customers’ ability to pay for imported goods in foreign currency, our revenue from Venezuela has decreased significantly in 2014. In addition we have recorded in 2014 a charge of $20.5 million to reflect a re-measurement of assets in Venezuela, primarily accounts receivables, which were denominated or linked to the U.S. dollars. We have no assurance that current conditions will not further deteriorate or that similar conditions will not occur in other developing countries, which might adversely affect our sales in these countries and/or our ability to collect the proceeds from such sales in the future. The following are some of the risks and challenges that we face doing business internationally, several of which are more likely in the emerging markets than in other countries:
 
 
unexpected changes in or enforcement of regulatory requirements, including security regulations relating to international terrorism and hacking concerns and regulations related to licensing and allocation processes;
 
 
unexpected changes in or imposition of tax or customs levies;
 
 
fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;
 
 
restrictions on currency and cash repatriation;
 
 
imposition of tariffs and other barriers and restrictions;
 
 
burden of complying with a variety of foreign laws including foreign import restrictions which may be applicable to our products;
 
 
difficulties in protecting intellectual property;
 
 
laws and business practices favoring local competitors;
 
 
demand for high-volume purchases with discounted prices;
 
 
collection delays and uncertainties;
 
 
civil unrest, war and acts of terrorism;
 
 
requirements to do business in local currency; and
 
 
requirements to do manufacture or purchase locally;
 
In addition, local business practices in jurisdictions in which we operate, and particularly in emerging markets, may be inconsistent with international regulatory requirements, such as anti-corruption and anti-bribery regulations to which we are subject. It is possible that, notwithstanding our policies and in violation of our instructions, some of our employees, subcontractors, agents or partners may violate such legal and regulatory requirements, which may expose us to criminal or civil enforcement actions. If we fail to comply with such legal and regulatory requirements, our business and reputation may be harmed.
 
 
5

 

We face intense competition from other wireless equipment providers. If we fail to compete effectively, our business, financial condition and result of operations would be materially adversely affected.

The market for wireless equipment is rapidly evolving, fragmented, highly competitive and subject to rapid technological change. Increased competition, which may differ from region to region, in the wireless equipment market could result in requirements to provide financing packages to our customers, reduced demand for our products, price reductions or reduced gross margins, any of which could seriously harm our business and results of operations. Our primary competitors include industry “generalists” such as Alcatel-Lucent, Fujitsu Limited, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., L.M. Ericsson Telephone Company, NEC Corporation, Nokia Solutions and Networks B.V. (NSN) and ZTE Corporation. In addition to these primary competitors, a number of smaller “specialists” microwave communications equipment suppliers, including Aviat Networks, DragonWave Inc., and SIAE Microelectronica S.p.A., offer or are developing products that compete with our products. Some of our competitors are original equipment manufacturers through whom we market and sell our products, which means that our business success may depend on these competitors to some extent.

Most of our principal competitors are substantially larger than we are and have longer operating histories and greater financial, sales, service, marketing, distribution, technical, manufacturing and other resources than we have. They also have greater name recognition and a larger customer base than we have. Many of these competitors have well-established relationships with our current and potential customers, have extensive knowledge of our target markets, and have begun to focus more on selling services and bundling the entire network as a full-package offering. As a result, our competitors may be able to respond more quickly to changes in customer requirements and evolving industry standards and to devote greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of their products than we can. In addition, our competitors, especially those from China, may be able to offer customers financing that would increase the attractiveness of their products in comparison to ours.

Additionally, the telecommunications equipment industry has experienced significant consolidation among its participants, and we expect this trend to continue.  Examples include our acquisition of Nera Networks AS (“Nera”) in January 2011 (the “Nera Acquisition”) and the 2012 acquisition by DragonWave of the microwave division of NSN, which itself was formed as a joint venture between Nokia and Siemens. Other examples include the mergers of Alcatel and Lucent and the wireless divisions of Harris and Stratex Networks, and the acquisition by Ericsson of Marconi. These consolidations have increased the size and thus the competitive resources of these companies. In the future, current and potential competitors may make additional strategic acquisitions or establish cooperative relationships among themselves or with third parties that may allow them to increase their market share and competitive position.

We expect to face increasing competitive pressures in the future. If we are unable to compete effectively, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be materially adversely affected.

If we fail to effectively manage deliveries of our products, we may be unable to timely fulfill our customer commitments, which would adversely affect our business and results of operations. Technical problems in our relatively new product line, may adversely affect our ramping up ability.

We outsource substantially all our manufacturing operations and purchase ancillary equipment to our products from contract and other independent manufacturers and other third parties.  If we fail to effectively manage and synchronize our deliveries from all these sources to the customer, if we underestimate our production requirements which could interrupt manufacturing or if one or more of the contract and other independent manufacturers or other third parties does not fully comply with their contractual obligations or experience delays, disruptions or component procurement problems, then our ability to deliver complete product orders to our customers or otherwise fulfill our contractual obligations to our customers could be delayed or impaired, could result in higher manufacturing costs, could damage to customer relationships or could result in our payment of penalties to our customers, which would adversely affect our business, financial results and customer relationships.
 
 
6

 

In addition, our current product line, the IP-20 is relatively new and from time to time we still face technical problems which delay our deliveries. Any such technical problems may adversely affect our ramping up ability and may cause us to incur additional manufacturing costs or decrease our revenues and may have a material adverse effect on our business.

We have in the past undertaken restructuring activities, most recently announced further restructuring activities in the fourth quarter of 2014, which may adversely impact our operations.  We may not realize all of the anticipated benefits of these activities.

We continue to evaluate our business to determine the potential need to realign our resources as we continue to transform our business to achieve desired cost savings in an increasingly competitive market. In prior years, we have undertaken a series of restructurings of our operations. We incurred restructuring charges of $4.6 million and $9.3 million, respectively, in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 we incurred charges of $6.8 million, and a $4.4 million in write-offs of discontinued product inventory primarily related to our most recently announced restructuring activity.  We estimate that additional restructuring costs related to 2014 restructuring announcement will be approximately $1 to 2 million during the first half of 2015.

We have based our restructuring efforts on assumptions and plans regarding the appropriate cost structure of our businesses based on our product mix and projected sales among other factors. These assumptions may not be correct and we may not be able to operate in accordance with our plans. If our assumptions are not accurate, we may decide that we must incur additional restructuring charges in the future. Moreover, we cannot assure you that we will realize all or any of the anticipated benefits of any restructuring or that we will not further reduce or otherwise adjust our workforce or exit, or dispose of, certain businesses and product lines. Any decision to further limit investment or exit, or dispose of businesses may result in the recording of additional restructuring charges. As a result, the costs actually incurred in connection with the restructuring efforts may be higher than originally planned and may not lead to the anticipated cost savings or improved results. Further, we may have difficulty attracting and retaining personnel as a result of a perceived risk of future workforce reductions.

A decrease in industry growth or reduction in our customers’ revenue from increased regulation or new mobile services may cause operators’ investments in networks to slow or stop, harming our business.

We are exposed to changing network models that affect operator spending on infrastructure as well as trends in telecom operators and other service provider’s investment cycles. The emergence of over-the-top services, which make use of the operators’ network to deliver rich content to users but are not sharing their revenue with the operators, are causing operators to lose a substantial portion of their voice/SMS revenues.  In addition, changes in regulatory requirements in certain jurisdictions around the world are allowing smaller operators to enter into, and compete in, the market, which may also reduce our customers’ pricing to their end-users further causing them to lose revenues.  This is leading operators to spend more carefully on infrastructure upgrades and build-outs.  Operators today are revising their old models because adding capacity to meet demand could force them to quadruple their current capital expense investments over the coming years.  As a result, operators are looking for more cost-efficient solutions and network architecture that allow them to break the linearity of cost and capacity through more efficient use of existing infrastructure and assets. If operators fail to monetize new services, fail to introduce new business models or experience a decline in operator revenues or profitability, their willingness to invest further in their network systems may decrease which will reduce their demand for our products and services and have an adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our operating results may vary significantly from quarter to quarter and from our expectations for any specific quarter.
 
Our quarterly results are difficult to predict and may vary significantly from quarter to quarter or from our expectations and guidance for any specific quarter. Most importantly, delays in completing product order delivery or completion of a sale or related services can cause our revenues, net income and operating cash flow to fluctuate significantly from anticipated levels, especially as a large portion of our revenues are traditionally generated towards the end of each quarter.  We therefore rely in our quarterly and yearly guidance on orders that we expect to generate during these periods Furthermore, we may reduce prices in specific instances in response to competition or increase spending in order to pursue new market opportunities. Factors such as geographical mix, delivery terms and timeline, product mix, related services mix and other deal terms may differ significantly from our prediction and impact our costs and expenses and cash flow from operations.
 
 
7

 
 
The quarterly variation of our operating results, may, in turn, create volatility in the market price for our shares. In addition, our revenues, profitability and cash flow are typically affected by our customers’ capital expense, cash flow and acceptance criteria considerations which are subject to fluctuation on a quarterly and yearly basis.

Global competition and current market conditions, including those specifically impacting the telecommunications industry, have resulted in downward pressure on the prices for our products, which could result in reduced revenues, gross margins, profitability and demand for our products and services.

Currently, we and other manufacturers of telecommunications equipment are experiencing, and are likely to continue to experience, increased downward price pressure, particularly as we increase our customer base to include more tier 1 customers and continue to meet market demand in certain emerging markets and other less profitable countries, as a result, we may experience declining average sales prices for our products. Our future profitability will depend upon our ability to improve manufacturing efficiencies, to reduce costs of materials used in our products, and to continue to design to cost and introduce new lower-cost products and product enhancements. Because customers frequently negotiate supply arrangements far in advance of delivery dates, we may be required to commit to price reductions for our products before we are aware of how, or if, cost reductions can be obtained. Current or future price reduction commitments and any inability on our part to respond to increased price competition, in particular from tier 1 customers with higher volumes and stronger negotiating power, could harm our profitability, business, financial condition and results of operations.

Also, following the Nera Acquisition, as a percentage from our total sales, we have increased sales of our products and services in Latin America, a region typically characterized as having strong downward pricing pressures, in response to the rapid build-out of cellular networks in those geographies. For the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2014, 34% and 22% of our revenues were earned in Latin America, respectively. We expect that our revenues from sales of our products in Latin America will continue to constitute a significant portion of our business in the future. In addition, we anticipate continued demand for our sales in India, a country which is historically characterized as having strong downward pricing pressures. Challenging global economic conditions could also have adverse, wide-ranging effects on demand for our products and services and for the products of our customers. The telecommunications industry has experienced downturns in the past in which operators substantially reduced their capital spending on new equipment. Continued adverse economic conditions, which still exist in certain jurisdictions, including certain countries in Europe, could cause network operators to postpone investments or initiate other cost-cutting initiatives to improve their financial position. Over the past several years, network operators have started to share parts of their network infrastructure through cooperation agreements rather than through legal consolidation, which may adversely affect demand for lower cost network equipment. Moreover, the level of demand by operators and other customers who buy our products and services can change quickly and can vary over short periods, including from month to month.

If the current economic situation deteriorates or if the uncertainty and variations in the telecommunications industry continues, our business could be negatively impacted, including in such areas as reduced demand for our products and services, slowed customer buying decisions, pricing pressures, supplier or customer disruptions, or insolvency of certain of our key distributors, resellers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and systems integrators, which could impair our distribution channels, which could reduce our revenues or our ability to collect our accounts receivable and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

On December 15, 2014 we announced certain steps in order to accelerate our return to profitability. Some of these steps included managing the revenue mix more carefully, and seeking revised pricing, payment and other terms on new orders in certain situations. These steps may impact our market share and as a result may adversely affect our revenue and results of operation.
 
 
8

 

We face intense competition from other communications solutions that compete with our high-capacity point-to-point wireless products, which could reduce demand for our products and have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Our products compete with other high-speed communications solutions, including fiber optic lines and other wireless technologies. Some of these technologies utilize existing installed infrastructure and have achieved significantly greater market acceptance and penetration than high-capacity point-to-point wireless technologies.  Moreover, as more and more data demands are imposed on existing network frameworks and because of consolidation of fixed and mobile operators, operators may be more motivated to invest in more expensive high-speed fiber optic networks to meet current needs and remain competitive.

Some of the principal disadvantages of high capacity, point-to-point wireless technologies that may make other technologies more appealing include suboptimal operations in extreme weather conditions and limitations in connection with the need to establish line of sight between antennas.

In addition, customers may decide to use transmission frequencies for which we do not offer products.

To the extent that these competing communications solutions reduce demand for our high-capacity point-to-point wireless transmission products, there may be a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Consolidation of our potential customer base could harm our business.

The increasing trend toward mergers in the telecommunications industry has resulted in the consolidation of our potential customer base. In situations where an existing customer consolidates with another industry participant which uses a competitor’s products, our sales to that existing customer could be reduced or eliminated completely to the extent that the consolidated entity decides to adopt the competing products. Further, consolidation of our potential customer base could result in purchasing decision delays as consolidating customers integrate their operations and could generally reduce our opportunities to win new customers to the extent that the number of potential customers decreases. Moreover, some of our potential customers have agreed to share networks which results in less network equipment and associated services required and a decrease in the overall size of the market.  Recently, network operators have started to share parts of their network infrastructure through cooperation agreements rather than legal consolidations, which may adversely affect demand for network equipment and could harm our revenues and gross margins.

We rely on a limited number of contract manufacturers to manufacture our products and if they experience delays, disruptions, quality control problems or a loss in capacity, it could materially adversely affect our operating results.

While a small portion of our manufacturing has been performed in our production facility in Slovakia, we outsource substantially all of our manufacturing processes to a limited number of contract manufacturers that are located in Israel, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. We do not have long-term contracts with any of these contract manufacturers. From time to time, we have experienced and may in the future experience delays in shipments from these contract manufacturers. As part of our continued effort to reduce costs and the recent restructuring announcement on December 15, 2014, on March 18, 2015 we signed a contract with a certain contract manufacturer to outsource our production facility in Slovakia. The production transfer to the new manufacturer will take place during 2015, as a result we may experience more delays in shipment as well as quality issues than normal until ramp up and knowledge transfer is completed.

Although we believe that our contract manufacturers have sufficient economic incentive to perform our manufacturing, the resources devoted to these activities are not within our control, and we cannot assure you that manufacturing problems will not occur in the future. Our recent negative cash flows and uncertainties regarding our liquidity have, and may continue to, raise concerns with manufacturers, resulting in their revising or limiting our credit or payment terms which could result in production delays. In addition, the operations of our contract manufacturers are not under our control, and may themselves in the future experience manufacturing problems, including inferior quality and insufficient quantities of components.  These delays, disruptions, quality control problems and loss in capacity could result in delays in deliveries of our product to our customers, which could subject us to penalties payable to our customers, increased warranty costs and possible cancellation of orders. If our contract manufacturers experience financial, operational, manufacturing capacity or other difficulties, or shortages in components required for manufacturing, our supply may be disrupted and we may be required to seek alternate manufacturers. We may be unable to secure alternate manufacturers that meet our needs in a timely and cost-effective manner. In addition, some of our contract manufacturers have granted us licenses with respect to certain technology that is used in a number of our products. If we change contract manufacturers, we may be required to renegotiate these licenses or redesign some of our products, either of which could increase our cost of revenues and cause product delivery delays. If we change manufacturers, during the transition period, we may be more likely to face delays, disruptions, quality control problems and loss in capacity, and our sales, profits and customer relationships may suffer.
 
 
9

 

Our international operations expose us to the risk of fluctuation in currency exchange rates and restrictions related to foreign currency exchange controls.

Although we derive a significant portion of our revenues in U.S. dollars, a portion of our U.S. dollar revenues are derived from customers operating in local currencies which are different from the U.S. dollar.  Therefore, devaluation in the local currencies of our customers relative to the U.S. dollar could cause our customers to cancel or decrease orders or delay payment. In addition, part of our revenues from customers are in non-U.S. dollar currencies, therefore we are exposed to the risk of devaluation of such currencies relative to the dollar which could have a negative impact on our revenues.  We are also subject to other foreign currency risks including repatriation restrictions in certain countries, particularly in Latin America. See also the risk of “Due to the volume of our sales in emerging markets, we are susceptible to a number of political, economic and regulatory risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations” 

A substantial portion of our expenses are denominated in New Israeli Shekels, and to a lesser extent, other non-U.S. dollar currencies. Our NIS-denominated expenses consist principally of salaries and related costs and related personnel expenses. We anticipate that a portion of our expenses will continue to be denominated in NIS. In 2014, the NIS continued to fluctuate in comparison to the U.S. dollar, with the NIS depreciating by 12% against the U.S. dollar for that year.  If the U.S. dollar weakens against the NIS in the future, there will be a negative impact on our results of operations.

In some cases, we are paid in non-U.S. dollar currencies or maintain monetary assets in non-U.S. dollar currencies, which could affect our reported results of operations. Also our cash balances in certain countries, especially in cases where conversion to U.S. dollars and repatriation of these cash reserves is restricted or impossible, may be devaluated significantly which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.  In addition, we have assets and liabilities that are denominated in non-U.S. dollar currencies. Therefore, significant fluctuation in these other currencies could have significant effect on our results.

We use derivative financial instruments, such as foreign exchange forward contracts, to mitigate the risk of changes in foreign exchange rates on balance sheet accounts and forecast cash flows. We do not use derivative financial instruments or other “hedging” techniques to cover all of our potential exposure and may not purchase derivative instruments adequate to insulate ourselves from foreign currency exchange risks. In some countries, we are unable to use “hedging” techniques to mitigate our risks because hedging options are not available for certain government restricted currencies. During 2014, we incurred losses in the amount of $9.9 million as a result of exchange rate fluctuations that have not been offset in full by our hedging strategy. The volatility in the foreign currency markets may make it challenging to hedge our foreign currency exposures effectively.

Some of our competitors can benefit from currency fluctuations as their costs and expenses are primarily denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollars. In case the U.S. dollar strengthens against these currencies they might offer their products and services for a lower price and take market share from us, which might adversely affect our business, result of operation and financial condition.
 
We are dependent upon sales of our single family of products into one principal market. Any reduction in demand for these products in this market would cause our revenues to decrease.

We design, develop, manufacture and sell nearly all of our products to meet high-capacity point-to-point wireless backhaul needs. Nearly all of our revenues are generated from sales of our single portfolio of products. We expect sales of our single portfolio of products to continue to account for a substantial majority of our revenues for the foreseeable future.  As a result, we are more likely to be adversely affected by a reduction in demand for point-to-point wireless backhaul products than companies that sell multiple and diversified product lines or into multiple markets.
 
 
10

 

We engaged in supplying installation or turn-key projects for our customers. Such long-term projects have inherent additional risks. Problems in executing these turnkey projects, including delays or failure in acceptance testing procedures and other items beyond our control, would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
 
We are engaged in supplying our products as total turn-key projects which include installation and other services for our customers. In this context, we may act as prime contractor and equipment supplier for network build-out projects, providing installation, supervision and commissioning services required for these projects, or we may provide such services and equipment for projects handled by system integrators. As we engage in more turn-key projects, we expect to continue to routinely enter into contracts involving significant amounts to be paid by our customers over time and which often require us to deliver products and services representing an important portion of the contract price before receiving any significant payment from the customer.  Once a purchase agreement has been executed, the timing and amount of revenue, if applicable, may remain difficult to predict.  The completion of the installation and testing of the customer’s networks and the completion of all other suppliers’ network elements are subject to the customer’s timing and efforts, and other factors outside our control, such as site readiness for installation, availability of power and access to sites, which may prevent us from making predictions of revenue with any certainty. This could cause us to experience substantial period-to-period fluctuations in our results of operations and financial condition.
 
In addition, typically in turn-key projects we are dependent on the customer to issue acceptance certificates to generate and recognize revenue. In such turn-key projects, we typically bear the risks of loss and damage to our products until the customer has issued an acceptance certificate upon successful completion of acceptance tests. The early deployment of our products during a long-term project reduces our cash flow as we generally collect a significant portion of the contract price after successful completion of an acceptance test. If our products are damaged or stolen, or if the network we install does not pass the acceptance tests or if the customer does not or will not issue an acceptance certificate, the end user or the system integrator, as the case may be, could refuse to pay us any balance owed and we would incur substantial costs, including fees owed to our installation subcontractors, increased insurance premiums, transportation costs, and expenses related to repairing or manufacturing the products. Moreover, in such a case, we may not be able to repossess the equipment, thus suffering additional losses.

If any of the above occurs, we may not be able to generate or recognize revenue and we may incur additional costs, any of which could materially adversely impact our results of operation and financial position.

A single customerand customer grouprepresent a significant portion of our revenues, and if we were to lose this single customer or customer group or experience any material reduction in orders from this single customer or customer group, our revenues and operating results may be adversely affected.
 
In 2014 we had a single customer which placed large orders that resulted in revenues equaling 16.1% of our total revenues. In the years 2013 and 2012 we had revenues from a single group of affiliated companies that accounted for approximately 15.4% and 11.6%, respectively, of our total revenues. Our sales are generally made from standard purchase orders rather than long-term contracts. Accordingly, these large customers are not obligated to purchase a fixed amount of products or services over any period of time from us and may terminate or reduce their purchases from us at any time without notice or penalty. We therefore have difficulty projecting future revenues from these customers. Based on recent discussions with these customers, we expect the volume of business in 2015 to be significantly lower than in 2014 and 2013.  In addition, the customer group purchase or acceptance procedures could vary, as they did in 2012, even significantly. This could have, and has had, an adverse effect on our reported revenues, profitability and cash flow. In addition, the loss of these customers or any material reduction in orders could adversely affect different aspects of our results of operations, including cash flow, and financial position.
 
 
11

 

We derive a substantial portion of our revenues from fixed-price projects, including our turn-key projects, under which we assume greater financial risk if we fail to accurately estimate the costs of the projects.

We are engaged in supplying turn-key projects, involving fixed-price contracts. We assume greater financial risks on fixed-price projects, which routinely involve the provision of installation and other services, versus equipment –only sales, which do not similarly require us to provide services or require customer acceptance certificates in order for us to recognize revenue.  If we miscalculate the resources or time we need for these fixed-price projects, the costs of completing these projects may exceed our original estimates, which would negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.
 
We have identified material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting in our legal entity in Brazil as of December 31, 2014. Our failure to establish and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in material misstatements in our financial statements, failure to meet our reporting obligations. This may cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could result in the trading price of our common stock to decline.

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as such term is defined in Rule 13a-15(f) of the Exchange Act. Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including the chief executive officer (“CEO”) and the chief financial officer (“CFO”), we carried out an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2014, using the criteria established in “Internal Control—Integrated Framework” (2013), issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).
 
A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the Company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected in a timely manner.
 
Based on the Company’s evaluation, our management, including the CEO and CFO, has identified a material weakness related to our legal entity in Brazil, which accounted for approximately 10% of our total revenue for the year ended December 31 2014, approximately 9% of our total assets as of December 31, 2014, finding that we did not maintain effective controls over our financial reporting and closing procedures as of December 31, 2014. This material weakness resulted from the fact that our accounting and supervisory personnel in Brazil did not have adequate accounting experience to enforce compliance with all the procedures that had been defined to ensure appropriate financial reporting. This deficiency could result in a material misstatement of the annual or interim consolidated financial statements that will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.
 
Notwithstanding the identified material weakness, after taking alternate measures to check the appropriateness of financial reporting over the main risk items, our management believes the consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report fairly represent in all material respects our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows as of and for the periods presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

With the oversight of CEO and CFO, we have begun taking steps and plan to take additional measures to remediate the underlying causes of the material weakness. See also ITEM 15: CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES.” If we do not successfully remediate this material weakness and conclude in future periods that our internal controls over financial reporting are effective, we may fail to meet our future reporting obligations on a timely basis, our financial statements may contain material misstatements, our operating results may be negatively impacted, and we may be subject to litigation and regulatory actions, causing investor perceptions to be adversely affected and potentially resulting in a decline in the market price of our common stock. Any internal control or procedure, no matter how well designed and operated, can only provide reasonable assurance of achieving desired control objectives and cannot prevent intentional misconduct or fraud.
 
Additional tax liabilities could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

As a global corporation, we are subject to income and other taxes both in Israel and various foreign jurisdictions. Our domestic and international tax liabilities are subject to the allocation of revenues and expenses in different jurisdictions and the timing of recognizing revenues and expenses. Our tax expense includes estimates or additional tax, which may be incurred for tax exposures and reflects various estimates and assumptions, including assessments of our future earnings that could impact the valuation of our deferred tax assets.  From time to time, we are subject to income and other tax audits, the timings of which are unpredictable. Our future results of operations could be adversely affected by changes in our effective tax rate as a result of a change in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in our overall profitability, changes in tax legislation and rates, changes in generally accepted accounting principles, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assessments and liabilities, the results of audits and examinations of previously filed tax returns and continuing assessments of our tax exposures.  While we believe we comply with applicable tax laws, there can be no assurance that a governing tax authority will not have a different interpretation of the law and assess us with additional taxes. Should we be assessed additional taxes, there could be a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Our business activities in multiple countries may also expose us to withholding tax in those countries. Our inability to meet certain tax regulations related to withholding tax as well as different interpretations applied by the governing tax authorities to those regulations may expose us to additional tax payments and penalties which would have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.
 
 
12

 
 
Part of our inventory may be written off, which would increase our cost of revenues. In addition, due to inaccurate forecasts, we may be exposed to inventory-related losses on inventories purchased by our contract manufacturers and other suppliers or to increased expenses should unexpected production ramp up be required.

Our contract manufacturers and other suppliers are required to purchase inventory based on manufacturing projections we provide to them. If the actual orders from our customers are lower than these manufacturing projections, our contract manufacturers or other suppliers will have excess inventory of raw materials or finished products which we would be required to purchase. Alternatively, if orders for our products are significantly larger than our planned forecast, we may be required to expedite production and the purchase of raw materials, which may result in increased fees or expenses to our contract manufacturers or other suppliers.

We require our contract manufacturers and other suppliers from time to time to purchase more inventory than is immediately required, and, with respect to our contract manufacturers, to partially assemble components, in order to shorten our delivery time in case of an increase in demand for our products. In the absence of such increase in demand, we may need to make advance payments or compensate our contract manufacturers or other suppliers, as needed.  We also may purchase components or raw materials from time to time for use by our contract manufacturers in the manufacturing of our products.

Inventory of raw materials, work in-process or finished products located either at our warehouse or our customers’ sites as part of the network build-up may accumulate in the future, and we may encounter losses due to a variety of factors including:

 
new generations of products replacing older ones, including changes in products because of technological advances and cost reduction measures; and
 
the need of our contract manufacturers to order raw materials that have long lead times and our inability to estimate exact amounts and types of items thus needed, especially with regard to the frequencies in which the final products ordered will operate.

Further, our inventory of finished products located either at our warehouse or our customers’ sites as part of a network build-up may accumulate if a customer were to cancel an order or refuse to physically accept delivery of our products, or in turnkey projects which include acceptance tests, refuse to accept the network. The rate of accumulation may increase in a period of economic downturn.

If we fail to accurately predict our manufacturing requirements or forecast customer demand and are required to purchase excess inventory from our contract manufacturers or other suppliers or otherwise compensate our contract manufacturers or other suppliers for purchasing excess inventory, we may incur additional costs of manufacturing and our gross margins and results of operations could be adversely affected. If we overestimate our requirements and actual sales differ materially from these estimates or if we decide to change our product line and/or our product support strategy, our inventory levels may be too high, and inventory may become obsolete or over-stated on our balance sheet. For example in 2014 we recorded a $4.4 million write-off of discontinued product inventory related to our restructuring initiatives. This result would require us to write off inventory, which could adversely affect our results of operations. Alternatively, if we underestimate our requirements and actual orders are significantly larger than our planned forecast, we may be required to accelerate production and purchase of supplies, which may result in additional costs of buying components at an unattractive rate, paying expediting fees and express shipment costs, over time and other manufacturing expenses and our gross margins and results of operations could be adversely affected.

Our sales cycles in connection with competitive bids or to prospective customers are lengthy.

It typically takes from three to twelve months after we first begin discussions with a prospective customer before we receive an order from that customer, if an order is received at all. In some instances, we participate in competitive bids in tenders issued by our customers or prospective customers. These tender processes can continue for many months before a decision is made by the customer. In addition even after the initial decision is made we may be required for a lengthy and extensive testing and integration phase before a final decision to purchase is made.  As a result, we are required to devote a substantial amount of time and resources to secure sales. In addition, the lengthy sales cycle results in greater uncertainty with respect to any particular sale, as events may occur during the sales cycle that impact customers’ decisions which, in turn, increases the difficulty of forecasting our results of operations.
 
 
13

 
 
Our contract manufacturers obtain some of the components included in our products from a limited group of suppliers and, in some cases, single or sole source suppliers. The loss of or problems in any of these suppliers could cause us to experience production and shipment delays and a substantial loss of revenue.

Our contract manufacturers currently obtain key components from a limited number of suppliers. Some of these components are obtained from a single or sole source supplier. Our contract manufacturers’ dependence on a single or sole source supplier or on a limited number of suppliers subjects us to the following risks:

 
The component suppliers may experience shortages in components and interrupt or delay their shipments to our contract manufacturers. Consequently, these shortages could delay the manufacture of our products and shipments to our customers, which could result in penalties or cancellation of orders for our products.
 
 
The component suppliers could discontinue the manufacture or supply of components used in our systems. In such an event, our contract manufacturers or we may be unable to develop alternative sources for the components necessary to manufacture our products, which could force us to redesign our products. Any such redesign of our products would likely interrupt the manufacturing process and could cause delays in our product shipments. Moreover, a significant modification in our product design may increase our manufacturing costs and bring about lower gross margins.
 
 
The component suppliers may increase component prices significantly at any time and with immediate effect, particularly if demand for certain components increases dramatically in the global market. These price increases would increase component procurement costs and could significantly reduce our gross margins and profitability.

If we do not succeed in developing and marketing new products that keep pace with technological developments, changing industry standards and our customers’ needs, we may not be able to grow our business.

The market for our products is characterized by rapid technological advances, changing customer needs and evolving industry standards, as well as increasing pressures to make existing products more cost efficient. Accordingly, our success will depend, among other things, on our ability to develop and market new products or enhance our existing products in a timely manner to keep pace with developments in technology, and customer requirements.

In addition, the wireless equipment industry is subject to rapid change in technological and industry standards. This rapid change, through official standards committees or widespread use by operators, could either render our products obsolete or require us to modify our products resulting in significant investment, both in time and cost, in new technologies, products and solutions. We cannot assure you that we will continue to successfully develop these components and bring them into full production with acceptable reliability, or that any development or production ramp-up will be completed in a timely or cost-effective manner.

We are continuously seeking to develop new products and enhance our existing products. In late 2013 we announced a significant new line of products (IP-20 Platform) which we continue to enhance with newer products and capabilities. Developing new products and product enhancements requires research and development resources. We may not be successful in enhancing our existing products or developing new products in response to technological advances or to satisfy increasingly sophisticated customer needs in a timely and cost-effective manner, which would have a material adverse effect on our ability to grow our business.  Moreover, we cannot assure that our newly-announced products will be accepted in the market or will result in profitable sales or that such products will not require additional quality assurance and defect fixing processes.

Our past acquisition activities expose us to risks and liabilities.

The Nera Acquisition was our first acquisition involving significant international operations. In acquiring Nera we undertook a number of identified contingent liabilities of Nera, such as various known litigations with third parties, and other contingent exposures with customers, suppliers and employees, all of which could accumulate to a substantial amount. In addition, we may be exposed to potential tax liabilities worldwide with governmental authorities, which could result in a substantial cost. We also undertook certain exposures for penalties and other financial risks posed by a few of Nera’s customers in the event of a default by us due to commercial or political circumstances, which may not be under our control. We assessed these contingent liabilities in the purchase price allocation.
 
 
14

 

However, our assessment of such contingent liabilities may not have been accurate and we may be exposed to actual payments, which may be significantly higher than we assessed. If we are required to make any actual payment on such potential tax liabilities, this could result in the Nera Acquisition being substantially more expensive than originally estimated and could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Our acquisition activities expose us to risks and liabilities, which could also result in integration problems and adversely affect our business.

Following the Nera Acquisition and other smaller acquisitions, we have increased the size of our operations significantly and intend to continue to explore potential merger or acquisition opportunities. We are unable to predict whether or when any prospective acquisitions will be completed. The process of integrating an acquired business may be prolonged due to unforeseen difficulties and may require a disproportionate amount of our resources and management’s attention. The anticipated benefits and cost savings of such mergers and acquisitions or other restructuring may not be realized fully, or at all, or may take longer to realize than expected. Acquisitions involve numerous risks any of which could harm our business, results of operations or the price of our ordinary shares.

We rely on a limited number of contractors as part of our research and development efforts.

We conduct a part of our research and development activities through outside contractors. We depend on our contractors’ ability to achieve stated milestones and commercialize our products, and on their ability to cooperate and overcome design difficulties. This reliance is likely to increase as a result of the 2013 and 2014 restructurings, which principally affected our research and development organization in Norway and Israel. Our contractors may experience problems, including the inability to recruit professional personnel, which could delay our research and development process. These delays could:

 
increase our research and development expenses;
 
delay the introduction of our upgraded and new products to current and prospective customers and our penetration into new markets; and
 
adversely affect our ability to compete.

If our contractors fail to perform, we may be unable to secure alternative contractors that meet our needs. Moreover, qualifying new contractors may also increase our research and development expenses.

We sell other manufacturers’ products as an original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, which subjects us to various risks that may cause our revenues to decline.

We sell a limited number of products on an OEM basis through relationships with a number of manufacturers.  Some of these OEM products enable us to offer a complete solution to some of our customers.  These manufacturers have chosen to sell a portion of their systems through us in order to take advantage of our reputation and sales channels. The sale of these OEM products by us depends in part on the quality of these products, the ability of these manufacturers to deliver their products to us on time and their ability to provide both presale and post-sale support. Sales of OEM products by us expose our business to a number of risks, each of which could result in a reduction in the sales of our products. We face the risks of termination of these relationships, technical and financial problems these companies might encounter or the promotion of their products through other channels and turning them into competitors rather than partners. In addition, failure by our OEM manufacturers to deliver their products or discontinue production of their products may cause difficulty to and may have an adverse effect on our business.  If any of these risks materialize, we may not be able to develop alternative sources for these OEM products, which may cause us to lose certain customers or a part of their business which would cause our revenues to decline.
 
 
15

 

If we fail to obtain regulatory approval for our products, or if sufficient radio frequency spectrum is not allocated for use by our products, our ability to market our products may be restricted.

Radio communications are subject to regulation in most jurisdictions and to various international treaties relating to wireless communications equipment and the use of radio frequencies. Generally, our products must conform to a variety of regulatory requirements established to avoid interference among users of transmission frequencies and to permit interconnection of telecommunications equipment. Any delays in compliance with respect to our future products could delay the introduction of those products. Also, these regulatory requirements may change from time to time, which could affect the design and marketing of our products as well as the competition we face from other suppliers’ products.

In addition, in most jurisdictions in which we operate, users of our products are generally required to either have a license to operate and provide communications services in the applicable radio frequency or must acquire the right to do so from another license holder. Consequently, our ability to market our products is affected by the allocation of the radio frequency spectrum by governmental authorities, which may be by auction or other regulatory selection. These governmental authorities may not allocate sufficient radio frequency spectrum for use by our products. We may not be successful in obtaining regulatory approval for our products from these authorities and as we develop new products either our products or some of the regulations will need to change to take full advantage of the new product capabilities in some geographies. Historically, in many developed countries, the lack of available radio frequency spectrum has inhibited the growth of wireless telecommunications networks. If sufficient radio spectrum is not allocated for use by our products, our ability to market our products may be restricted which would have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, regulatory decisions allocating spectrum for use in wireless backhaul at frequencies used by our competitors’ products could increase the competition we face.

Other areas of regulation and governmental restrictions, including tariffs on imports and technology controls on exports or regulations related to licensing and allocation processes, could adversely affect our operations and financial results.

Our products are used in critical communications networks which may subject us to significant liability claims.

Because our products are used in critical communications networks, we may be subject to significant liability claims if our products do not work properly. The provisions in our agreements with customers that are intended to limit our exposure to liability claims may not preclude all potential claims. In addition, any insurance policies we have may not adequately limit our exposure with respect to such claims. We warrant to our current customers that our products will operate in accordance with our product specifications. If our products fail to conform to these specifications, our customers could require us to remedy the failure or could assert claims for damages. Liability claims could require us to spend significant time and money in litigation or to pay significant damages. Any such claims, whether or not successful, would be costly and time-consuming to defend, and could divert management’s attention and seriously damage our reputation and our business.

Widespread use of wireless products may have health and safety risks.

Our wireless communications products emit electromagnetic radiation. In recent years, there has been publicity regarding the potentially negative direct and indirect health and safety effects of electromagnetic emissions from wireless telephones and other wireless equipment sources, including allegations that these emissions may cause cancer. Health and safety issues related to our products may arise that could lead to litigation or other actions against us or to additional regulation of our products. We may be required to modify our technology and may not be able to do so. We may also be required to pay damages that may reduce our profitability and adversely affect our financial condition. Even if these concerns prove to be baseless, the resulting negative publicity could affect our ability to market these products and, in turn, could harm our business and results of operations. Claims against other wireless equipment suppliers or wireless service providers could adversely affect the demand for our backhaul solutions.
 
 
16

 

If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights, our competitive position may be harmed.

Our ability to compete will depend, in part, on our ability to obtain and enforce intellectual property protection for our technology internationally. We currently rely upon a combination of trade secret, trademark and copyright laws, as well as contractual rights, to protect our intellectual property.  In connection with the Nera Acquisition, we acquired certain patents and patent applications.  However, our patent portfolio may still not be as extensive as those of our competitors. As a result, we may have limited ability to assert any patent rights in negotiations with, or in counterclaiming against, competitors who assert intellectual property rights against us.

We also enter into confidentiality, non-competition and invention assignment agreements with our employees and contractors engaged in our research and development activities, and enter into non-disclosure agreements with our suppliers and certain customers so as to limit access to and disclosure of our proprietary information. We cannot assure you that any steps taken by us will be adequate to deter misappropriation or impede independent third-party development of similar technologies. Moreover, under current law, we may not be able to enforce the non-competition agreements with our employees to their fullest extent.

We cannot assure you that the protection provided to our intellectual property by the laws and courts of foreign nations will be substantially similar to the remedies available under U.S. law. Furthermore, we cannot assure you that third parties will not assert infringement claims against us based on foreign intellectual property rights and laws that are different from those established in the United States. Any such failure or inability to obtain or maintain adequate protection of our intellectual property rights for any reason could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Defending against intellectual property infringement claims could be expensive and could disrupt our business.

The wireless equipment industry is characterized by vigorous protection and pursuit of intellectual property rights, which has resulted in often protracted and expensive litigation. We have been exposed to infringement allegations in the past. We may in the future be notified that we are allegedly infringing certain patent or other intellectual property rights of others. Any such litigation or claim could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources. In the event of an adverse result of any such litigation, we could be required to pay substantial damages (including potentially treble damages and attorney’s fees should a court find such infringement willful), cease the use and licensing of allegedly infringing technology and the sale of allegedly infringing products and expend significant resources to develop non-infringing technology or to obtain licenses for the infringing technology. We cannot assure you that we would be successful in developing such non-infringing technology or that any license for the infringing technology would be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, if at all.

If we fail to attract and retain qualified personnel, our business, operations and product development efforts may be materially adversely affected.

Our products require sophisticated research and development, marketing and sales, and technical customer support. Our success depends on our ability to attract, train and retain qualified personnel in all these professional areas while also taking into consideration varying geographical needs and cultures. We compete with other companies for personnel in all of these areas, both in terms of profession and geography, and we may not be able to hire sufficient personnel to achieve our goals or support the anticipated growth in our business. The market for the highly-trained personnel we require globally is competitive, due to the limited number of people available with the necessary technical skills and understanding of our products and technology. If we fail to attract and retain qualified personnel due to compensation or other factors, our business, operations and product development efforts would suffer.

Risks Related to Our Common Shares

If we are characterized as a passive foreign investment company, our U.S. shareholders may suffer adverse tax consequences, including higher tax rates and potentially punitive interest charges on certain distributions and on the proceeds of share sales.

We do not believe that for 2014 we were a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Non-U.S. corporations may generally be characterized as a PFIC for any taxable year, if after applying certain look through rules, either (1) 75% or more of such corporation’s gross income is passive income, or (2) at least 50% of the average value of all such corporation’s assets are held for the production of, or produce, passive income. If we are characterized as a PFIC, our U.S. shareholders may suffer adverse tax consequences, including having gains realized on the sale of our ordinary shares treated as ordinary income, rather than capital gain income, and having potentially punitive interest charges apply.  Similar rules apply to distributions that are “excess distributions.”
 
 
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It is possible that the United States Internal Revenue Service could attempt to treat us as a PFIC for the 2014 year or prior tax years. The tests for determining PFIC status are applied annually and it is difficult to make accurate predictions of our future income, assets, activities and market capitalization, including fluctuations in the price of our ordinary shares, which are relevant to this determination. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that we will not become a PFIC in 2015 or in subsequent years. For a discussion of the rules relating to passive foreign investment companies and related tax consequences, please see the section of this prospectus supplement entitled “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” – “Tax Consequences if we are a Passive Foreign Investment Company.”

The price of our ordinary shares is subject to volatility. Such volatility may expose us to class actions against the Company and its senior executives.

The price of our ordinary shares has experienced volatility in the past and may continue to do so in the future. In the two year period ended December 31, 2014, the price of our ordinary shares has ranged from a high of $5.15 per share to a low of $0.93 per share. On December 31, 2013 and 2014, the closing price of our ordinary shares was $2.97 per share and $1.01 per share, respectively. After December 31, 2014 the share price continued to decrease to a low point of $0.88 per share. Other factors that may contribute to wide fluctuations in our market price, many of which are beyond our control, include, but are not limited to:

 
announcement of corporate transactions or other events impacting our revenues;
 
 
announcements of technological innovations;
 
 
customer orders or new products or contracts;
 
 
competitors’ positions in the market;
 
 
 
Changes in the Company’s estimations regarding looking forward statements and/or announcement of actual results that vary significantly from such estimation;
 
 
 
changes in financial estimates by securities analysts;
 
 
our earnings releases and the earnings releases of our competitors;
 
 
other announcements, whether by the Company or others, referring to the Company’s financial condition results of operations and changes in strategy;
 
 
the general state of the securities markets (with particular emphasis on the technology and Israeli sectors thereof); and
 
 
the general state of the credit markets, the current volatility of which could have an adverse effect on our investments.

In addition to the volatility of the market price of our shares, the stock market in general and the market for technology companies in particular have been highly volatile and at times thinly traded. Investors may not be able to resell their shares following periods of volatility.

On January 6, 2015 the Company was served with a motion to approve a purported class action, naming the Company, its Chief Executive Officer and its directors as defendants. The motion was filed with the District Court of Tel-Aviv. The purported class action alleges breaches of duties by making false and misleading statements in the Company’s SEC filings and public statements. The Company believes it has strong defense against these allegations and that the District Court should deny the motion to approve the class action, however, there is no assurance that the Company’s position will be accepted by the District Court. In such case the Company may have to divert attention of its executives to deal with this class action as well as incur expenses that may be beyond its insurance coverage for such cases, which cause a risk of loss and expenditures that may adversely affect its financial condition and results of operations.
 
 
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Due to the size of their shareholdings, Yehuda and Zohar Zisapel have influence over matters requiring shareholder approval.

As of March 31, 2015, Yehuda Zisapel and Nava Zisapel beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, 4.65% of our outstanding ordinary shares; and Zohar Zisapel, our Chairman, beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, 13.9% of our outstanding ordinary shares. Such percentages include options which are exercisable within 60 days of March 31, 2015. Yehuda and Zohar Zisapel, who are brothers, do not have a voting agreement. Regardless, these shareholders may influence the outcome of various actions that require shareholder approval. Yehuda and Nava Zisapel have an agreement which provides for certain coordination in respect of sales of shares of Ceragon as well as for tag along rights with respect to off-market sales of Ceragon.
  
Provisions of our Articles of Association, Israeli law and financing documents could delay, prevent or make difficult a change of control and therefore depress the price of our shares.

Under certain provisions the Israeli Companies Law, a request of a creditor of a party to the proposed merger to the court may delay or prevent a merger. Further, a merger generally may not be completed until the passage of certain time periods. In certain circumstances, an acquisition of shares in a public company must be made by means of a tender offer. Our Articles of Association provide that our directors (other than the external directors) are appointed for a period of three years. This longer appointment term may discourage a takeover of our Company.

Furthermore, certain provisions of other Israeli laws may have the effect of delaying, preventing or making more difficult an acquisition of or merger with us. For example, Israeli tax law treats some acquisitions, such as share-for-share exchanges between an Israeli company and a foreign company, less favorably than U.S. tax laws. In addition, approvals of a merger that may be in certain circumstances required under the Restrictive Trade Practices Law, 1988, and under of the Israeli Law for the Encouragement of Industrial Research and Development of 1984 may impede, delay or restrict our ability to consummate a merger or similar transaction.
 
Compliance with conflict mineral disclosure requirements will create additional compliance cost and may create reputational challenges.

Pursuant to Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, United States publicly-traded companies are required to disclose use or potential use of certain minerals and their derivatives, including tantalum, tin, gold and tungsten, that are mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries and deemed conflict minerals.

These requirements necessitate due diligence efforts to assess whether such minerals are used in our products in order to make the relevant required annual disclosures. We filed our initial conflict minerals report on June 2, 2014. There are, and will be, ongoing costs associated with complying with these recent disclosure requirements, including diligence to determine the sources of those minerals that may be used or necessary to the production of our products. We may face reputational challenges that could impact future sales if we determine that certain of our products contain minerals not determined to be conflict free or if we are unable to verify with sufficient accuracy the origins of all conflict minerals used in our products.
 
 
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Risks Relating to Israel
 
Conducting business in Israel entails special risks.
 
Our principal offices and a substantial portion of our research and development and contract manufacturers’ facilities are located in Israel. We outsource part of our manufacturing operations to major contract manufacturers outside of Israel and our sales occur mostly outside of Israel. Accordingly, we are directly influenced by the political, economic and military conditions affecting Israel. Specifically, we could be adversely affected by:
 
 
·
Hostilities involving Israel;
 
 
·
A full or partial mobilization of the reserve forces of the Israeli army;
 
 
·
The interruption or curtailment of trade between Israel and its present trading partners; and
 
 
·
A downturn in the economic or financial condition of Israel.
 
Israel has been subject to a number of armed conflicts that have taken place between it and its Arab neighbors. While Israel has entered into peace agreements with both Egypt and Jordan, Israel has not entered into peace arrangements with any other neighboring countries and the numerous uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, including in Egypt, Syria and Jordan which border Israel, have introduced additional uncertainty in the region. Recent events in Iran, including reports of its continuing nuclear development program, have further heightened the antipathy between Israel and Iran.
 
Over the past several years there has been a significant deterioration in Israel’s relationship with the Palestinian Authority and a related increase in violence, including recent hostilities related to Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Hamas militant group. Efforts to resolve the problem have failed to result in a permanent solution. In 2014 Israel experienced another round of armed conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, with missiles reaching north Tel-Aviv. Any armed conflicts, terrorist activities or political instability in the region could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Further deterioration of relations with the Palestinian Authority, Hamas or countries in the Middle East could disrupt international trading activities in Israel and may materially and negatively affect our business conditions and those of our major contract manufacturers and could harm our results of operations. In addition, a significant number of our employees who are Israeli citizens are subject to an obligation to perform reserve military service.  In case of further regional instability such employees who may include one or more of our key employees may be absent for extended periods of time which may materially adversely affect our business.
 
Certain countries, as well as certain companies and organizations, primarily in the Middle East, as well as Malaysia and Indonesia, continue to participate in a boycott of Israeli firms and others doing business with Israel and Israeli companies. Thus, there have been sales opportunities that we could not pursue and there may be such opportunities in the future from which we will be precluded. For example, certain countries participating in the boycott described above have recently been increasing their investment in telecom operators in Africa. This growing control of the market in Africa could lead to a decrease of our sales in Africa in the future. The boycott, restrictive laws, policies or practices directed towards Israel or Israeli businesses could, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on our business in the future.
 
We can give no assurance that the political and security situation in Israel, as well as the economic situation, will not have a material impact on our business in the future.
 
 
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Because we received Israeli government grants for research and development expenditures, we are subject to ongoing restrictions and conditions, including restrictions on our ability to manufacture products and transfer technologies or know how outside of Israel.
 
We received grants from the Government of Israel through the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy, or the OCS, for the financing of a significant portion of our research and development expenditures in Israel. We therefore must comply with the requirements of the Israeli law for the Encouragement of Industrial Research and Development of 1984 and regulations promulgated thereunder, which we refer to as the R&D Law, with respect to a portion of our products which are deemed to have been developed with OCS funding.  The R&D Law and the terms of the grants we received restrict our ability to transfer technology or know how developed with OCS grants or any rights derived from such technology or know how, including by way of the sale of the technology or know how, the grant of a license to such technology or know how or the manufacture of our products based on such technology or know how, outside of Israel unless we obtain the approval of the OCS. There is no assurance that we will receive such OCS approvals. Even if such OCS approvals are obtained we will be required to pay increased royalties to the OCS for the transfer of manufacture or, in case of a transfer of the technology or know how outside of Israel by way of a sale or granting of a license, be required to pay a percentage of the consideration paid for such transfer, but not less than the OCS grants. These restrictions and requirements for payment may impair our ability to sell our technology assets outside of Israel or to outsource or transfer development or manufacturing activities with respect to any product or technology outside of Israel. Furthermore, the consideration available to our shareholders in a transaction involving the transfer outside of Israel of technology or know how developed with OCS funding (such as a merger or similar transaction) may be reduced by any amounts that we are required to pay to the OCS. In addition, under the R&D Law, any non-Israeli who becomes a direct holder of 5% or more of our share capital is required to notify the OCS and to undertake to observe the law governing the grant programs of the OCS, the principal restrictions of which are the transferability limits described above in this paragraph.
 
In each of 2013 and 2014 we received new approvals for grants from the Government of Israel through the OCS, for the financing of certain research and development expenditures in Israel (the “New Grant”) in the amount of approximately $0.7 million, which has already been received, and $1.8 million, which has been partially received.  The New Grants require us to comply with the requirements of the R&D Law in the same manner applicable to previous grants.  Furthermore, the consideration in a transaction involving the transfer outside of Israel of technology or know how developed with the New Grants (such as a merger or similar transaction) may be reduced by any royalties that the recipient of such technology or know how will be required to pay to the OCS on all past sales of products based on the technology or know how developed with the New Grants.
 
In addition to the royalty-bearing grants described above, in March 2014 we agreed to participate in two “Magnet” Consortium Programs, sponsored by the OCS, which grants do not bear any royalty obligations, but, as the R&D Law applies to these programs, the restrictions on transfer of know how or manufacturing outside of Israel, as described above, are in effect. See “Israeli Office of Chief Scientist” in Item 4 below.

The tax benefits to which we are currently entitled from our approved enterprise program and our beneficiary enterprise program require us to satisfy specified conditions. If we fail to satisfy these conditions, we may be required to pay increased taxes and would likely be denied these benefits in the future.
 
The Company has capital investment programs that have been granted approved enterprise status (“Approved Programs”) and a program under beneficiary enterprise status pursuant to the Law for the Encouragement of Capital Investments, 1959 (“Beneficiary Program”). When we begin to generate taxable income from these approved or beneficiary enterprise programs, the portion of our income derived from these programs will be exempt from tax for a period of two years and will be subject to a reduced tax for an additional eight years thereafter, depending on the percentage of our share capital held by non-Israelis. The benefits available to an approved enterprise program are dependent upon the fulfillment of conditions stipulated under applicable law and in the certificate of approval. If we fail to comply with these conditions, in whole or in part, we may be required to pay additional taxes for the period in which we benefited from the tax exemption or reduced tax rates and would likely be denied these benefits in the future. The amount by which our taxes would increase will depend on the difference between the then applicable tax rate for regular enterprises and the rate of tax, if any, that we would otherwise pay as an approved enterprise or beneficiary enterprise, and the amount of any taxable income that we may earn in the future.
 
The tax benefits available to approved and beneficiary enterprise programs may be reduced or eliminated in the future. This would likely increase our tax liability.
 
The Israeli government may reduce or eliminate in the future tax benefits available to approved or beneficiary enterprise programs. Our approved and beneficiary program and the resulting tax benefits may not continue in the future at their current levels or at any level and the new legislation regarding Preferred Enterprise may not be applicable to us or may not fully compensate us for such change. The termination or reduction of these tax benefits would likely increase our tax liability. The amount, if any, by which our tax liability would increase will depend upon the rate of any tax increase, the amount of any tax benefit reduction, and the amount of any taxable income that we may earn in the future. See Item 10: “ADDITIONAL INFORMATION; Taxation; Tax Benefits under the 2011 Amendment,” for a description of legislation on “Preferred Enterprise.”
 
 
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It may be difficult to enforce a U.S. judgment against us, and our officers and directors, to assert U.S. securities laws claims in Israel and to serve process on substantially all of our officers and directors.
 
We are incorporated under the laws of the State of Israel. Service of process upon our directors and officers, substantially all of whom reside outside the United States, may be difficult to obtain within the United States. Furthermore, because the majority of our assets and investments, and substantially all of our directors and officers are located outside the United States, any judgment obtained in the United States against us or any of them may not be collectible within the United States. It may be difficult to assert U.S. securities law claims in original actions instituted in Israel. Israeli courts may refuse to hear a claim based on a violation of U.S. securities laws because Israel is not the most appropriate forum to bring such a claim. In addition, even if an Israeli court agrees to hear a claim, it may determine that Israeli law and not U.S. law is applicable to the claim. If U.S. law is found to be applicable, the content of applicable U.S. law must be proved as a fact, which can be a time-consuming and costly process. Certain matters of procedure will also be governed by Israeli law. There is little binding case law in Israel addressing these matters.
 
Subject to specified time limitations and legal procedures, Israeli courts may enforce a U.S. final judgment in a civil matter, including a judgment based upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. securities laws, and including a judgment for the payment of compensation or damages in a non-civil matter, provided that:
 
 
the judgment was given by a court which was, according to the laws of the state of the court, competent to give it;
 
 
the judgment is executory in the state in which it was given;
 
 
the judgment is no longer appealable;
 
 
the judgment was given by a court that is competent to do so under the rules of private international law applicable in Israel;
 
 
there has been due process and the defendant has had a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to present his or her evidence;
 
 
the obligation imposed by the judgment is enforceable according to the rules relating to the enforceability of judgments in Israel and the substance of the judgment is not contrary to public policy;
 
 
the judgment was not obtained by fraud and does not conflict with any other valid judgment in the same matter between the same parties; and
 
  an action between the same parties in the same matter is not pending in any Israeli court or tribunal at the time the lawsuit is instituted in the U.S. court;
 
Even if these conditions are satisfied, an Israeli court will not enforce a foreign judgment if it was given in a state whose laws do not provide for the enforcement of judgments of Israeli courts (subject to exceptional cases) or if its enforcement is likely to prejudice the sovereignty or security of the State of Israel.
 
 
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Your rights and responsibilities as our shareholder will be governed by Israeli law which may differ in some respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders of U.S. corporations.
 
Because we are incorporated under Israeli law, the rights and responsibilities of our shareholders are governed by our Articles of Association and Israeli law. These rights and responsibilities differ in some respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders in United States-based corporations. In particular, a shareholder of an Israeli company has a duty to act in good faith and in a customary manner in exercising its rights and performing its obligations towards the company and other shareholders and to refrain from abusing its power in the company, including, among other things, in voting at the general meeting of shareholders on certain matters, such as an amendment to the company’s articles of association, an increase of the company’s authorized share capital, a merger of the company and approval of related party transactions that require shareholder approval. A shareholder also has a general duty to refrain from discriminating against other shareholders. In addition, a controlling shareholder or a shareholder who knows that it possesses the power to determine the outcome of a shareholders’ vote or to appoint or prevent the appointment of an office holder in the company or has another power with respect to the company, has a duty to act in fairness towards the company. Israeli law does not define the substance of this duty of fairness and there is limited case law available to assist us in understanding the nature of this duty or the implications of these provisions. These provisions may be interpreted to impose additional obligations and liabilities on our shareholders that are not typically imposed on shareholders of U.S. corporations.
 
ITEM 4.                      INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY
 
A. History and Development of the Company
 
We were incorporated under the laws of the State of Israel on July 23, 1996 as Giganet Ltd.  We changed our name to Ceragon Networks Ltd. on September 6, 2000. We operate under the Israeli Companies Law.  Our registered office is located at 24 Raoul Wallenberg Street, Tel Aviv 69719, Israel and the telephone number is 011-972-3-543-1000.  Our web address is www.ceragon.com. Information contained on our website does not constitute a part of this annual report.
 
Our agent for service of process in the United States is Ceragon Networks, Inc., our wholly owned U.S. subsidiary and North American headquarters, located at 10 Forest Avenue, Suite 120, Paramus, New Jersey 07652.
 
In the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013, and 2012, our capital expenditures were $12.7 million, $16.4 million and $14.5 million, respectively. In 2014 capital expenditures were primarily for the development of our new IP-20 product family and its production lines. In 2013 capital expenditures were primarily for the significant implementation and roll out of our ERP system in four of our largest locations, in which we implemented new modules that allow us to have better control over our business operations, financial activity and project management.  In 2012, capital expenditures were primarily for on a new enterprise resource planning, or ERP, system to be implemented at our offices worldwide. In 2015 we anticipate to continue engaging in capital spending consistent with anticipated change in our business activities.
 
B. Business Overview
 
        We are the number one high-capacity wireless backhaul specialist, in terms of unit shipments and global distribution of our business.  We provide wireless backhaul solutions that enable cellular operators and other wireless service providers to deliver voice and data services, enabling smart-phone applications such as Internet browsing, social networking applications, image sharing, music and video applications. We also provide our solutions for hauling application in other vertical markets like public safety and oil and gas offshore drilling platforms. Our wireless backhaul solutions use microwave radio technology to transfer large amounts of telecommunication traffic between base stations and small-cells and the core of the service provider’s network.  We also provide wireless fronthaul solutions that use microwave technology for ultra-high speed, ultra-low latency communication between LTE/LTE-Advanced base-band digital units stations and remote radio units (RRUs). The term fronthaul refers to new technologies that allow transport between a remote radio unit and a baseband unit in front of the base station, with a controlling macro base station.  We are also a member of industry consortiums of companies which attempt to better define future technologies in the market, such as Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and others.
 
         In addition to providing our solutions, we also offer our customers a comprehensive set of turn-key services including: advanced network and radio planning, site survey, solutions development, installation, maintenance, training and more. Our services include utilization of powerful project management tools in order to streamline deployments of complex wireless networks, thereby reducing time and costs associated with network set-up, and allowing faster time to revenue.  Our experienced teams can deploy hundreds of “links” every week, and our turn-key project track record includes hundreds of thousands of links already installed and in operation with a variety of industry-leading operators.
 
 
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        Designed for all Internet Protocol (IP) network configurations, including risk-free migration from legacy to next-generation backhaul and fronthaul networks, our solutions provide fiber-like connectivity for  next generation Ethernet/Internet Protocol, or IP-based, networks; for legacy circuit-switched, or SONET/SDH, networks and for hybrid networks that combine IP and circuit-switching. Our solutions support all wireless access technologies, including LTE-Advanced, LTE, HSPA, EV-DO, CDMA, W-CDMA, Wifi and GSM. These solutions allow wireless service providers to cost-effectively and seamlessly evolve their networks from circuit-switched and hybrid concepts to all-IP.  In addition, our solutions allow for the proliferation of small-cell heterogeneous networks (HetNets) thereby meeting the increasing demands by the growing numbers of subscribers and the increasing needs for mobile data services. Our systems also serve evolving network architectures including all-IP long haul networks.
 
        We also provide our solutions to other non-carrier vertical markets such as oil and gas companies, public safety network operators, businesses and public institutions, broadcasters, energy utilities and others that operate their own private communications networks. Our solutions are deployed by more than 430 service providers of all sizes, as well as in hundreds of private networks, in more than 130 countries.
 
In March 2013, we received $113.7 million of credit facilities which replaced all of the Company’s existing credit facilities, including the agreement with Bank Hapoalim B.M. entered into in 2011 (the “Bank Hapoalim Agreement”) and other short term credit facilities with other banks. In October 2013 and again in April 2014, we obtained the bank syndicate's consent for temporary less restrictive financial covenants. Most of the less restrictive financial covenants were in effect until October 1, 2014, except for one less restrictive financial covenant which shall remain in effect until March 31, 2015. After each date, the respective original covenants again apply.  On March 31, 2015 we signed additional amendment with the banks syndicate that includes primarily changes in our credit line structure, in some of our covenants, an extension of the credit facility period until June 30, 2016 and a gradual reduction of the maximum amount of loans from $63.5 million to $50 million by February 28, 2016. See Item 5:“OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS;” “Liquidity and Capital Resources,” for a more detailed discussion.
 
In December 2014, we announced a significant new restructuring of our operations to reduce our operational costs. The restructuring plan is intended to realign operations, reduce head count and undertake other cost reduction measures in order to lower our breakeven point and improve profitability. Once the restructuring and other cost reduction measures are completed, they are expected to result in annual savings of approximately $18 to $22 million. The restructuring plan includes consolidating or relocating certain offices and reducing staff functions and some operations positions, as well as other measures. In connection with the 2014 restructuring, we incurred restructuring charges of $5.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 and we estimate that additional costs will be approximately $1 to $2 million during the first half of 2015.
 
In April 2014, we signed an agreement with Eltek ASA to settle all claims, counter claims, legal proceedings, and any other contingent or potential claims regarding alleged breaches of representations and warranties contained in the purchase agreement governing the Nera Acquisition in January 2011. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, we received $17 million in cash.
 
Wireless Backhaul; Short-haul, Front-haul and Long-haul

Today’s wireless base stations handle many different technologies such as cell phones, smart phones, tablets and PCs. Voice and data traffic generated by these high-end devices are then gathered and transmitted via the  backhaul transport network to the radio frequency (RF), or wireless, network. Wireless backhaul offers network operators a cost-efficient alternative to wire-line (copper/fiber) applications. Support for high capacities means that all value-added services can be supported, while the high reliability of wireless systems provide for lower maintenance costs. Because they require no trenching, wireless links can also be set up much faster and at a fraction of the cost of wire-line solutions. This translates to lower total cost of ownership and faster time to market, as well as new revenue streams, for the operator.
 
 
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The wireless backhaul space is segmented into short-haul and long-haul applications. Short-haul, devices typically have a capacity of up to 1 Gbps per link channel and are used to carry voice and data services over distances of between several hundred feet and 10 miles. Short-haul links are deployed in access applications wirelessly connecting the individual base-stations and cellular towers to the core network. Short-haul solutions are also used in a range of non-carrier “vertical” applications such as broadcast, state and local government, education and off-shore communication. Ceragon also offers a solution for emerging wireless fronthaul applications that offer ultra-high capacities up to 2Gbps per link channel. The term fronthaul refers to new technologies that allow transport between a remote radio unit and baseband unit in front of the base station, with a controlling macro base station. Fronthaul allows mobile network operators to use detached radio and baseband units (such as remote radio-heads), avoiding the need to deploy and manage full-featured base-station or cells and thus reducing the total network’s cost of ownership.

Long-haul links, with a capacity of up to 4 Gbps, are used in the “highways” of the telecommunication backbone network. These links are used to carry services at distances of 10 to50 miles, and, using the right planning, configuration and equipment, can also bridge distances of 100 miles or even longer.

Ceragon has more than once been the first to introduce new products and features to the market, including the first solution for wireless transmission of 155 Mbps at 38 GHz, the first native IP wireless transmission offering. More recently, we introduced a variety of technological enhancements including the first hitless/errorless 8-step Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) technology (2007); first native Ethernet multi-channel long-haul radio with ACM (2010); unique asymmetric transfer mode and multi-layer compression (2011); and 1024QAM Long-Haul IP radio with 9 step ACM (2012); and the industry’s first multi-core radio solution supporting 2048 QAM and 4x4 MIMO (2012).

Industry Background

The market for wireless backhaul is being generated primarily by cellular operators, wireless broadband service providers, businesses and public institutions that are operating private networks. This market is fueled by the continuous customer growth in developing countries, and the explosion in mobile data usage in developed countries. Traditionally based on circuit-switched solutions such as T1/E1 or SONET/SDH, the market for high-capacity wireless backhaul is now shifting to more flexible and cost efficient architectures based on high-capacity IP/Ethernet-This shift enables next-generation backhaul networks to successfully cope with the continuing growth of bandwidth-hungry data services over LTE/LTE-Advanced, 3G and HSPA technologies. New wireless broadband networks as well as wireless Internet service providers (WISPs) and private networks also rely on high-capacity IP/Ethernet technology to haul large amounts of data traffic.

Rapid subscriber growth and the proliferation of advanced, data-centric handsets such as smartphones and tablets have significantly increased the amount of traffic that must be carried over a cellular operator’s backhaul infrastructure. As a result, existing transport capacity is heavily strained, creating a bottleneck that hinders service delivery and quality.

In order to meet the demand for more bandwidth, operators are constantly seeking new network architectures that will allow for controlling the cost of the network through smart planning, while ensuring the highest capacities and service quality. New technologies such as intelligent small-cells, coordinated macro cells and C-RAN (Cloud or Centralized Radio Access Network) can help operators to cope with the surge in capacity requirements. The evolution of functioning networks is becoming more heterogeneous in that many technologies, concepts and solution generations need to coexist and operate together seamlessly on the same network. These heterogeneous networks, or HetNets, require high-capacity and ultra-high capacity backhaul solutions. Wireless systems offer service providers a variety of advantages over competing technologies including ease and speed of deployment, scalability and lower total cost of ownership.
 
 
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Cellular Operators

In order to address the strain on backhaul capacity, cellular operators have a number of alternatives, including leasing existing fiber lines, laying new fiber optic networks or deploying wireless solutions. Leasing existing lines requires a significant increase in operating expenses and, in some cases, requires the wireless service provider to depend on a direct competitor. Laying new fiber-optic lines is capital-intensive and these lines cannot be rapidly deployed. The deployment of high capacity and ultra-high capacity point-to-point wireless links represents a scalable, flexible and cost-effective alternative for expanding backhaul capacity. . Supporting data rates of 1 Gbps and above over a single radio unit, wireless backhaul solutions enable cellular operators to add capacity only as required while significantly reducing upfront and ongoing backhaul costs.  In addition, ultra-high capacity is a prerequisite for supporting fronthaul applications.

Most of today’s backhaul networks still employ a large number of circuit switched (or TDM) solutions - whether T1/E1 or high-capacity SDH/SONET. These networks, originally designed to carry voice-only services, have a limited bandwidth capacity and offer no cost-efficient scalability model. The surge in mobile data usage drives operators to migrate their networks to a more flexible, feature-rich and cost optimized IP/Ethernet architecture. Additionally, the surge in data usage in densely populated areas drives operators to explore new network architecture that utilize a variety of small-cell technologies to form HetNets, and require highly compact, ultra-high-capacity systems for backhaul and fronthaul.  As operators transition to HSPA, 4G/LTE and LTE-Advanced, all of which are IP-based wireless access technologies, they look for ways to benefit from IP technology in the backhaul and fronthaul segments, while maintaining support for their primary legacy services.

In order to ensure the success of this backhaul network migration phase, operators require solutions that can support their legacy transport technology (TDM) while providing all the advanced IP/Ethernet capabilities and functionalities. This is because, in most cases, next generation HSPA and LTE base stations are co-located with 2G/3G base stations, and thus share the same backhaul network. Cellular operators therefore seek “hybrid” wireless backhaul solutions that can carry both types of traffic seamlessly over a single network, to facilitate their network migration.   Our solutions, which support any network architecture and include both all-IP as well as hybrid systems, offer operators a simple network modernization plan.

Wireless Broadband Service Providers

For wireless broadband service providers, which offer alternate high data access, high-capacity backhaul is essential for ensuring continuous delivery of rich media service across their high-speed data networks.  If the backhaul network and its components do not satisfy the service providers’ need for cost-effectiveness, resilience, scalability or ability to supply sufficient capacity, then the efficiency and productivity of the network may be seriously compromised. While both wireless and wire-line technologies can be used to build these backhaul systems, many wireless service providers opt for wireless point-to-point microwave solutions. This is due to a number of advantages of the technology including: rapid installation, support for high-capacity data traffic, scalability and lower cost-per-bit compared to wire-line alternatives.

Other Vertical Markets

Many large businesses and public institutions require private high bandwidth communication networks to connect multiple locations. These private networks are typically built using IP-based communications infrastructure. This market includes educational institutions, utility companies, oil and gas industry, broadcasters, state and local governments, public safety agencies and defense contractors. These customers continue to invest in their private communications networks for numerous reasons, including security concerns, the need to exercise control over network service quality and redundant network access requirements. As data traffic on these networks rises, we expect that businesses and public institutions will continue to invest in their communications infrastructure, including backhaul equipment. Like wireless service providers, customers in this market demand a highly reliable, cost-effective backhaul solution that can be easily installed and scaled to their bandwidth requirements.  Approximately 20% of our business is associated with private network operators.

Microwave vs. Fiber
 
         Though fiber-based networks can easily support the rapid growth in bandwidth demands, they carry high initial deployment costs and take longer to deploy than microwave. Certainly, where fiber is available within several hundred feet of the operator’s point of presence, with ducts already in place, and when there are no regulatory issues that prohibit the connection – fiber can become the operator’s preferred route. In almost all other scenarios, high-capacity microwave is simply much more cost efficient. In fact, in most cases the return-on-investment from fiber installations can only be expected in the long term, making it hard for operators to achieve lower costs per bit and earn profits in a foreseeable future.
 
 
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        Wireless microwave backhaul solutions on the other hand are capable of delivering high bandwidth, carrier-grade Ethernet and TDM services, while fronthaul applications will be served via ultra-high capacity microwave systems. Our microwave solutions are suitable for all capacities up to 2 Gbps over a single radio connection (or “link”) and may be scaled up to multiple Gbps using aggregated links techniques. Unlike fiber, wireless solutions can be set up quickly and are much more cost efficient on a per-bit basis from the outset. In many countries, microwave links are deployed as alternative routes to fiber, ensuring on-going communication in case of fiber-cuts and network failures.

Licensed vs. License-exempt Radios

Service providers select the optimal available transmission frequency based on the rainfall intensity in the transmission area and the desired transmission range. The regulated, or licensed, bands are allocated by government licensing authorities for high-capacity wireless transmissions. The license grants the licensee the exclusive use of that spectrum for a specific use thereby eliminating any interference issues.  Licensed microwave is typically the choice of leading operators around the world because it matches the bandwidth and interference protection they require. Our products operate in the 64 – 42 GHz frequency bands, the principal licensed bands currently available for commercial use throughout the world. We also offer products in the 60, 70, 80 GHz frequency bands for use in ultra-high, short-distance networks, such as small-cell backhaul and fronthaul applications.
 
License-exempt systems typically operate in the “sub-6” 2.4 – 5.85 GHz or in the 24 GHz spectrum band.  These systems can be deployed without any regulatory approval. Due to limited availability of spectrum, and the narrow bandwidth of frequency channels in this range, licensed-exempt systems have limited capacities. Often operating in a near-line-of-sight (NLOS) mode, these systems also suffer from high signal loss which puts more limitations of their ability to provide high capacities. Another disadvantage is that because these frequencies are unregulated, it is impossible to ensure high, carrier-grade quality of service and high availability. There are, however, applications in which service providers, public or private, may use license-exempt systems, for instance in enterprises, education, utility, financial, or public safety. Cellular operators and wireless ISPs may also use license-exempt spectrum solutions where NLOS is the only means to connect two end-points. For the license-exempt wireless networks market we offer products that are designed to operate in the sub-6 frequencies.
 
Industry Trends and Developments

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) are two emerging concepts aimed at simplifying network operations and allowing network engineers and administrators respond quickly to changing business requirements. NFV and SDN deliver network architectures that transition networks from a world of task-specific dedicated equipment elements, to a world of optimization of network performance through network intelligence. Our IP-20 platform, which we have launched during 2013, is an SDN-ready solutions suite built around a powerful software-defined engine. The solution also includes an integrated virtualization card that enables independent software applications to run over the same general-purpose hardware.

The emergence of small cells present backhaul challenges that differ from those of traditional macro-cells. Small cells can be used to provide a second layer of coverage in 3G and 4G/LTE networks, resulting in higher throughput and data rates for the end-user.  Although small cell deployments are still evolving and are as of yet not showing significant volumes, Ceragon already offers tailored solutions for forward looking mobile operators. Our small-cell backhaul and fronthaul portfolio includes a variety of compact all-outdoor solutions that provide operators with optimal flexibility in meeting their unique physical, capacity, networking, and regulatory requirements.
 
 
·
Heterogeneous networks, or HetNets, are a means for increasing the capacity in mobile networks. HetNets are typically composed of multiple radio access technologies, architectures, transmission solutions, and base stations of varying generations. Fixed mobile convergence, which is aimed at removing the distinctions between fixed and mobile networks by using a combination of wire-line broadband and local access wireless technologies, is creating further opportunities for HetNets. As operators look to consolidate their backhaul networks, they also want to maintain the different access networks they have in order to serve different customers (for example, DSL, cable and 3G). Our advanced systems are already deployed in a wide range of network architectures, serving a host of wireless voice and broadband data access technologies. In addition, our systems interface and interoperate with a variety of wire-line and wireless solutions from other global vendors, to enable smooth and cost optimized delivery of value added, revenue generating services.
 
 
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·
The network sharing business model is growing in popularity among mobile network operators (MNOs) who are faced with increasing competition from over-the-top players and an ever-growing capacity crunch. Network sharing can be particularly effective in the backhaul portion of mobile networks, especially as conventional macro cells evolve into super-sized macro sites that require exponentially more bandwidth for backhaul. It has become abundantly clear that in these new scenarios, a new breed of backhaul solutions with significant investment is required. Our new IP-20 platform supports network sharing concepts by addressing both the ultra-high capacities required for carrying multiple operator traffic, as well as the policing for ensuring that each operator’s service level agreement (SLA) is maintained. IP-20 solutions can deliver up to several Gbps of data over a single link. At the same time, by employing advanced hierarchical quality of service (H-QoS) mechanisms, IP-20 ensures fairness and policy enforcement on a shared network.

 
·
While green-field deployments tend to be all IP-based, the overwhelming portion of network infrastructure investments goes into upgrading, or “modernizing” existing cell-sites to fit new services with a lower total cost of ownership. Modernizing is more than a simple replacement of network equipment. It helps operators build up a network with enhanced performance, capacity and service support.  For example, Ceragon offers a variety of innovative mediation devices that eliminate the need to replace costly antennas that are already in deployment. In doing so, we help our customers to reduce the time and the costs associated with network upgrades.  The result: a smoother upgrade cycle, short network down-time during upgrades and faster time to revenue.
 
 
·
A growing market for non-mobile backhaul applications which includes: Offshore communications for the oil and gas as well as the shipping industry, require a unique set of solutions for use on moving rigs and vessels; Broadcast networks that require robust, highly reliable communication for the distribution of live video content either as a cost efficient alternative to fiber, or as a backup for fiber installations. Smart Grid networks for utilities, as well as local and national governments that seek greater energy efficiency, reliability, and scale.
 
 
·
A growing demand for high capacity, IP-based long haul solutions in emerging markets. This demand is driven by the need of operators to connect more communities to mobile added value services, and a lack of alternative (wire-line) backbone telecommunication infrastructure in these emerging markets.
 
 
·
Market consolidation in the wireless backhaul segment continues. This trend was made evident in our acquisition of Nera and DragonWave’s acquisition of the microwave division of Nokia Siemens Networks.
 
 
·
Subscriber growth continues mainly in emerging markets such as India, Africa and Latin America.

Our Solutions

We offer a broad portfolio of innovative, field-proven, high capacity wireless backhaul solutions which enable cellular operators and other wireless service providers to effectively eliminate the backhaul capacity bottleneck, significantly reduce backhaul costs and gradually evolve their networks from TDM to IP/Ethernet and SDN-ready networks. We also provide advanced pure IP/Ethernet solutions to wireless broadband service providers as well as to businesses and public institutions that operate their own private communications networks.
 
 
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Our short-haul products, part of the IP-20 Platform, support any transport technology, at a high capacity of 1Gbps and above to support any 4G/LTE and LTE-A radio access network, and any deployment architecture or network topology. We deliver platforms that carry pure TDM, a combination (hybrid) of native TDM and native IP/Ethernet and pure IP/Ethernet traffic. Our systems can be deployed in high density, split-mount or compact all-outdoor installations. Understanding the many needs of our customers, we provide solutions for every segment of the backhaul network – from tail site, or the last tower in the operator’s network, to large aggregation sites – and that support both tree, chain and ring topologies.
 
Our long-haul products, also part of the IP-20 Platform, provide a field-proven, quality microwave radio solution for long distance, high capacity telecommunication networks. Our long haul products allow operators to smoothly migrate from legacy TDM to all-IP technologies, satisfying the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth - while keeping revenue generating 2G/3G services intact. The IP-20 long haul products are available in both all indoor as well as split-mount configurations and support all licensed frequency bands from 4 to 11 GHz. This highly efficient solution provides more than 4 Gbps of aggregated Ethernet traffic.

We believe our solutions have proven their ability to provide high performance in a cost-effective manner, and they are differentiated in the following ways:

HetNet Backhaul Solution. With decades of market experience we believe that identifying our customers’ future needs is key to our business success. Our solution concept provides the path to meeting and keeping up with capacity demands in the evolving HetNet environment. This concept incorporates smart planning tools and capabilities, out-of-the-box network design concepts and a full range of hardware and software solutions for a host of deployment scenarios.  For example, the FibeAir IP-20C is suitable for a wide range of HetNet backhaul applications. The platform’s small form-factor and support for ultra-high capacities with extremely low latency make it ideal for aggregation networks, super-size macro cell backhaul or Cloud Radio Access Networks (C-RAN) or fronthaul with compressed CPRI (Common Public Radio Interface).

Leading Offering for the Wireless Backhaul Market. We believe that we provide our customers with a leading offering of high capacity wireless solutions for backhaul. Our competitive differentiation results from our focus on product development from components to subsystem integration to overall system solution design.  Our software defined multi-core technology IP-based backhaul solutions provide fiber-like performance with throughput speeds from 10 Mbps and to more than 4 Gbps, with high availability and low latency. Our solutions enable wireless service providers to gradually evolve their networks from all circuit-switched through a combined “hybrid” model to all IP/Ethernet-based networks. We provide operators with a range of systems allowing them to serve any application in their network – from small cell sites and remote radios using a compact all-outdoor device, up to large multi-carrier solutions for long-distance backbone applications.

In 2013 we released the IP-20, a service-centric, SDN-ready wireless platform containing a rich product line for wireless backhaul. IP-20 is built around a powerful software-defined engine and supports any radio transmission technology mix, any network topology and any configuration. IP-20 is based on our in-house multi-core chipset (modem and RFICs). The capabilities of Ceragon’s in-house technology were demonstrated in the first product of the IP-20 platform, the FibeAir IP-20C launched in December 2012. This solution features fully operational LoS 4x4 MIMO (Multiple Input – Multiple Output) capabilities to deliver 1Gbps over a single 28MHz/30MHz channel and as much as 2Gbps over a single 56MHz/60MHz channel without any compression.

All IP-20 platform products share a common, high-performance operating system, CeraOS. CeraOS, provides a complete set of service-centric features and performance-boosting capabilities across the entire IP-20 product series and creates a cohesive, easy to operate and simple to manage approach for building, expanding and maintaining wireless backhaul and networks.

During 2014 we shipped over 20,000 links which were based on the IP-20 platform. These newly deployed systems join our suite of software defined, multi-core, IP-based products and hybrid networking products which are currently deployed in over 430 wireless service providers’ networks, including a growing number of global tier 1 players, as well as private networks around the world.
 
 
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Broad Product Portfolio. We offer a broad range of high capacity wireless backhaul systems enabling us to offer complete solutions for the specific needs of a wide range of customers, based on service type, frequency, distance and capacity requirements. Our solutions include platforms based on pure IP, circuit-switched (or TDM) products, and hybrid solutions that deliver both circuit-switched and IP traffic in their native form over a single radio. This functionality makes the latter particularly attractive for wireless service providers and facilitates cost effective, risk-free migration to IP-based backhaul networks and can be integrated in any pure IP, hybrid or circuit-switched network. Through our IP-20 platform, we allow our customers to benefit from emerging technologies and network concepts such as SDN, NFV, fronthaul and C-RAN.  Our solutions can be deployed in all-indoor, all-outdoor and split-mount configurations and support a wide range of network topologies.

Network Management Tools for Advanced Microwave Networks. Our innovative, user-friendly Network Management System (NMS) is designed for managing large scale wireless backhaul networks.  We offer both “stand-alone” management tools as well as tailored solutions in combination with third party partners. These tools enable advanced service delivery across the network, while allowing effectively seamless management of all the backhaul network’s elements, thus reducing operational costs. Ceragon NMS provides enhanced system functionality and comprehensive network management for current and legacy radios. Built on a powerful platform, our NMS allow operators to provide maximized network uptime by including functionality for managing end-to-end configuration, performance, faults and system security.

Turnkey Services Capabilities. Since 2012, we were responsible for installing most of the links we shipped. We offer complete solutions and services for the design and implementation of telecommunication networks, as well as the expansion or integration of existing ones. We have a global projects and services group that operates alongside our products groups. Under this group we offer our customers a comprehensive set of turn-key services including: advanced network and radio planning, site survey, solutions development, installation, maintenance, training and more. Our services include utilization of powerful project management tools in order to streamline deployments of complex wireless networks, thereby reducing time and costs associated with network set-up, and allowing faster time to revenue. Our experienced teams can deploy hundreds of “wireless backhaul links” every week, and our turn-key project track-record includes hundreds of thousands of links already installed and in operation with a variety of tier 1 operators.

Low Total Cost of Ownership.  Our solutions address industry requirements for low total cost of ownership backhaul solutions. Total cost of ownership includes the combined cost of initial acquisition, installation and ongoing operation and maintenance, regardless of whether these costs are incurred through leasing arrangements or operating owned equipment. For example, we offer a solution that enables legacy links to be swapped for new, modern radios, while reusing other vendors’ antennas. Replacing antennas is a costly effort, not only in equipment and installation costs, but also in network downtime during the set-up and re-alignment of new antennas. By enabling our systems to interface with any antenna in the field and compensating for the lower system gain of older installations, we allow operators to keep the existing antennas and cabling, and reduce the loss of revenues, by minimizing downtime.  In addition, our products also offer high spectral utilization, which allows the use of smaller antennas, and results in lower CAPEX and site rental costs. Additional savings can be achieved through our green-mode radios that include adjustable power features and can reduce radio link power consumption by as much as 30% compared with existing solutions.  In some of the regions we serve, this is translated into significant operating expense reductions by saving fuel required for the generators on site.

Design to Cost. We see an increasing demand for smaller systems with low power consumption and a cost structure that fits the “flat price” models of mobile operators. We believe that this complicated puzzle can only be solved through vertical integration from system to chip level. Our strategy to drive performance up while driving cost down is achieved through our investment in modem and RF (radio frequency) integrated circuit (IC) design. Our advanced chipsets, which are already in use in hundreds of thousands of units in the field, integrate all the radio functionality required for high-end microwave systems. By owning the technology and controlling the complete system design, we achieve a very high level of vertical integration. This, in turn, yields systems that have superior performance, due to our ability to closely integrate and fine-tune the performance of all the radio components. By significantly reducing the number of components in the system and simplifying its design, we have made our solutions easier to manufacture. We have introduced automated testing that allows us to speed up production while lowering the costs for electronic manufacturing services manufacturers. Thus we believe we are able to achieve one of the lowest per-system cost positions in the industry and can offer our customers further savings through compact, low power consumption designs – which is becoming a key parameter in the ability of operators to deploy LTE small cells.
 
 
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As an example, our FibeAir IP-20C, which can quadruple the link capacity over a single frequency channel, has nearly the same footprint as our RFU-C which is a single-channel radio unit, and not a full system. This achievement could not have been possible without our full control of the entire design and production process

Scalability and Flexibility. We design our products to enable incremental deployment to meet increased service demand, making it possible for wireless service providers to rapidly deploy additional capacity as needed. This approach allows our customers to establish a wireless broadband network with a relatively low initial investment and later expand the geographic coverage area of their networks as subscriber demand increases. Our pay-as-you-grow model allows our customers to add new features along the product’s evolution cycle. This software-based model allows for seamless upgrades of already-deployed solutions, saving the need for additional site visits and hardware replacements.

Strategic Partnerships. Ceragon maintains strategic partnerships with third party solution vendors and network integrators. Through these relationships Ceragon develops interoperable ecosystems, enabling operators to profitably evolve mobile networks by using complementary backhaul alternatives.

Our Products

Our portfolio of products utilizes microwave radio technology that provides our customers with a wireless connectivity that dynamically adapts to weather conditions and optimizes range and efficiency for a given frequency channel bandwidth. Our products are typically sold as a complete system comprised of four components: an outdoor unit, an indoor unit, a compact high-performance antenna and a network management system. We offer all-packet microwave radio links, with optional migration from TDM to Ethernet. Our products include integrated networking functions for both TDM and Ethernet.

We offer our products in three configurations: All-indoor, All-outdoor and Split-mount.

 
·
Split-mount solutions consist of:

 
Ø
Indoor units which are used to convert the transmission signals from digital to intermediate frequency signals and vice versa, process and manage information transmitted to and from the outdoor unit, aggregate multiple transmission signals and provide a physical interface to wire-line networks.

 
Ø
Outdoor units or Radio Frequency Units (RFU), which are used to control power transmission, convert intermediate frequency signals to radio frequency signals and vice versa, and provide an interface between antennas and indoor units. They are contained in compact weather-proof enclosures fastened to antennas. Indoor units are connected to outdoor units by standard coaxial cables.
 
 
·
All-indoor solutions refer to solutions in which the entire system (indoor unit and RFU) reside in a single rack inside a transmission equipment room. A waveguide connection transports the radio signals to the antenna mounted on a tower. All indoor equipment is typically used in long-haul applications.
 
 
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·
All-outdoor solutions combine the functionality of both the indoor and outdoor units in a single, compact device. This weather-proof enclosure is fastened to an antenna, eliminating the need for rack space or sheltering as well as the need for air conditioning.

 
·
Pointing accuracy solutions for high vibration environments. These are advanced microwave radio systems for use on moving rigs/vessels where the antenna is stabilized in one or two axes, azimuth or azimuth/elevation.

 
·
Antennas are used to transmit and receive microwave radio signals from one side of the wireless link to the other. These devices are mounted on poles typically placed on rooftops, towers or buildings. We rely on third party vendors to supply this component.

 
·
End-to-End Network Management.  Our network management system uses standard management protocol to monitor and control managed devices at both the element and network level and can be easily integrated into our customers’ existing network management systems.

An antenna, an RFU and an indoor unit comprise a terminal. Two terminals are required to form a radio link, which typically extends across a distance of several miles and can extend across a distance of over 100 miles. The specific distance depends upon the customer’s requirements and chosen modulation scheme, the frequency utilized, the available line of sight, local rain patterns and antenna size. Each link can be controlled by our network management system or can be interfaced to the network management system of the service provider. The systems are available in both split-mount, including an indoor and outdoor unit, all-indoor and all-outdoor installations.

The IP-20 Platform provides a wide range of solutions for any configuration requirement and diverse networking scenarios. Composed of high-density multi-technology nodes and integrated radio units of multiple radio technologies ranging from 4GHz and up to 86GHz, it offers ultra-high capacity of multiple Gbps with flexibility in accommodating for every site providing high performance terminals for all-indoor, split-mount and all-outdoor configurations.

 
Short-Haul
Long-Haul
Product
FibeAir IP-20G & IP-20GX
FibeAir IP-20N / IP-20A*
FibeAir IP-20C
FibeAir IP-20S
FibeAir IP-20E
FibeAir IP-20C HP
FibeAir IP-20LH
Evolution IP-20 LH
Description
Multi-Radio Technology Edge Node
 
Multi-Radio Technology Aggregation Node
Compact All-Outdoor Multi-Core Node
 
Compact All-Outdoor Node
 
 
Compact All-Outdoor Node for E-band (70-80GHz)
Compact, high power, multi-carrier trunk
Ultra-high power multi-carrier trunk with HP-radio ODUs
Ultra-high power multi-carrier trunk with Evolution ODUs
Interfaces
1GE, FE, and
E1/T1
10GE, 1GE, FE, E1/T1
1GE
1GE
1GE
10GE, 1GE, STM-1/OC-3, E1/T1
Note: support for some interfaces requires use of  IP-20N/IP-20A IDU
 
10GE, 1GE, FE, STM-1/OC-3, E1/T1
10GE, 1GE, , FE, STM-1/OC-3, E1/T1
Site Configuration
Split-mount
All-outdoor
 
All-outdoor / Split Mount (with IP-20N or IP-20A IDU)
All-indoor /
Split-mount
Transport
Technology
Hybrid and/or all-packet
All-packet
All-packet and/or Hybrid
Hybrid and/or all-packet
Typical Applications
Cellular operators, Wireless service providers, Incumbent local exchange carriers, Private Networks (Public Safety, First Responders, state/local gov. institutions and Utility Companies)
Cellular operators, Wireless service providers, Incumbent local exchange carriers, Private Networks (Public Safety, First Responders, state/local gov. institutions and Utility Companies)
Cellular
operators,
Wireless ISPs,
, , Private Networks (Public Safety, First Responders, state/local gov. institutions and Utility Companies)
Cellular
operators,
Wireless ISPs,
, Private Networks (Public Safety, First Responders, state/local gov. institutions and Utility Companies)
Cellular
operators,
Wireless ISPs,
, Private Networks (Public Safety, First Responders, state/local gov. institutions and Utility Companies)
Cellular operators,
Wireless ISPs,
Private Networks (Public Safety, First Responders, state/local gov. institutions and Utility Companies)
Cellular operators, Wireless service providers,
Incumbent local exchange
carriers, Private Networks (Public Safety, First Responders, state/local gov. institutions and Utility Companies)
Cellular operators, Wireless service providers,
Incumbent local exchange
carriers Private Networks (Public Safety, First Responders, state/local gov. institutions and Utility Companies)
Type of Customers
Cellular operators, Wireless ISPs, Private Network providers, Government institutions
Cellular operators, Wireless ISPs, Private Network providers, Government institutions
Cellular operators, Wireless ISPs, Private Network providers, Government institutions
 Cellular operators, Wireless ISPs, Private Network providers, Government institutions
Cellular operators, Wireless ISPs, Private Network providers, Government institutions
Cellular operators, Wireless service providers,  Incumbent local exchange carriers, Private Network providers
Cellular operators, Wireless service providers, Incumbent local exchange carriers, Private Network providers
Cellular operators, Wireless service providers, Incumbent local exchange carriers, Private Network providers
Operating system
Unified operating system (CeraOS), uniformly supporting  End-to-End networking, services and radio capabilities across the entire IP-20 platform series of products

* ANSI version
 
 
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The diverse FibeAir® IP-10 product series offers products that address the complete wireless backhaul needs of IP-based, hybrid and circuit-switched networks:

 
Short-Haul
Product
FibeAir IP-10C
FibeAir FA-70T
 FibeAir 2500
FibeAir IP-10E
FibeAir
IP-10Q
FibeAir IP-10G
FibeAir 2000/4800
Description
High-Capacity Compact All-Outdoor Solution
High-Capacity 70 GHz Hauling Solution
Sub 6GHz, Point to Multi Point System
High-Capacity Ethernet Solution
High-Capacity, High-Density solution for aggregation sites
High-Capacity
Multi-Service
Sub 6GHz, Point to Point system,
Multi-Service
Interfaces
Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet
Multiple Gigabit Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet multiple E1/T1, Fast Ethernet multiple E1/T1
Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet multiple E1/T1
Site Configuration
All-outdoor
Split-mount
Transport
Technology
Packet-based
Hybrid
Typical Applications
Wireless backhaul at tail-sites and small-cell sites
Wireless backhaul at tail-sites and small-cell sites
Wireless backhaul for carriers,   Private networks and Metro area networks
Private Networks, Business access, Wireless Backhaul at small cells sites
Wireless backhaul at aggregation sites
Wireless backhaul for carriers and Private networks
Private Networks, Business access,  wireless backhaul at small cells sites
Type of Customers
Cellular operators, Wireless ISPs, Private Network providers
Cellular operators, Wireless ISPs, Private Network providers
Cellular operators, WiMax carriers, Wireless ISPs, Incumbent local exchange carriers, Businesses, Public institutions
Cellular operators, Wireless ISPs, Businesses, Public institutions
Cellular operators, Wireless service providers, Incumbent local exchange carriers
Cellular operators, Wireless service providers, Incumbent local exchange carriers
Cellular operators, Wireless ISPs, Businesses, Public institutions

    Our Evolution™ product family offers products that address the needs for high capacity all-IP, TDM or hybrid long-haul and backbone applications:

 
Long-Haul
Network
Infrastructure
IP/Hybrid All-Indoor
Split-Mount
Product
Evolution Long-Haul
FibeAir
3200
Evolution IP-10 Compact Long-Haul (CLH)
Evolution Long-Haul
PointLink
Description
Multi-channel High-Capacity
Long-Haul solution
High-Capacity Circuit-switched TDM
Compact all-indoor system for high capacity long distance applications.
 
4-channels High-Capacity
Long-Haul solution
High capacity offshore communication
Interfaces
6 Gigabit ports (SFP or electric),
nxSTM-1/OC-3, nxSTM-4/OC-12, 75xE1s/80xDS1s
Multiple STM-1/OC-3
Gigabit Ethernet multiple E1/T1, Fast Ethernet multiple E1/T1
6 Gigabit ports (SFP or electric),
nxSTM-1/OC-3, nxSTM-4/OC-12, 75xE1s/80xDS1s
 
Typical Applications
Wireless backhaul, Wireless backbone, simple migration from TDM to IP long-haul
Wireless backhaul, Long distance networks
Wireless backhaul, Long distance networks in sites with limited ‘real-state’
Wireless backhaul, Wireless backbone, simple migration from TDM to IP long-haul
Offshore oil/gas rigs in high vibration environment
Type of Customers
Wireless service providers, Incumbent local exchange carriers, Public institutions
Wireless service providers, Incumbent local exchange carriers
Wireless service providers, private network operators (utilities, rail, state & local government etc.)
Wireless service providers, Incumbent local exchange carriers, Public institutions
Oil and gas drilling companies, shipping industry
 
 
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Our network management system (NMS) can be used to monitor network element status, provide statistical and inventory reports, download software and configuration to elements in the network, and provide end-to-end service management across the network. Our NMS solutions support all IP-20 platform products, as well as our legacy FibeAir IP-10 and Evolution products through a single user interface.

 
Network Management System (NMS)
     
Description
User-friendly Network Management System designed for managing large scale wireless back haul networks. Optimized for centralized operation and maintenance of a complete network with an intuitive graphical interface for managing performance, end-to-end configuration, faults and system security.
Key Features
Managing wireless backhaul networks; Fault management; Configuration & performance management; Network awareness; Full FCAPS Support Redundancy & Backup; Pay as you Grow with Software Key Mechanism; Northbound Interfaces; Multi-platform Operating System Support

Our IP-based network products use native IP technology. Our hybrid products use our hybrid concept which allows them to transmit both native IP and native circuit-switched TDM traffic simultaneously over a single radio link. Native IP refers to systems that are designed to transport IP-based network traffic directly rather than adapting IP-based network traffic to existing circuit-switched systems. This approach increases efficiency and decreases latency. Our products provide effectively seamless migration to gradually evolve the network from an all circuit-switched and hybrid concept to an all IP-based packet.

As telecommunication networks and services become more demanding, there is an increasing need to match the indoor units’ advanced networking capabilities with powerful and efficient radio units. Our outdoor RFUs are designed with sturdiness, power, simplicity, and compatibility in mind. As such, they provide high-power transmission for both short and long distances and can be assembled and installed quickly and easily. The RFUs can operate with different Ceragon indoor units, according to the desired configuration, addressing any network need be it cellular, backbone, rural or private backhaul networks.

Our RFUs deliver a maximum capacity over 86 MHz channels with configurable modulation schemes from QPSK to 2048QAM. High spectral efficiency is ensured by using the same bandwidth for double the capacity, using a single channel, with vertical and horizontal polarizations. This feature is implemented with a built-in cross polarization interference canceller (XPIC) mechanism. Ceragon was also the first microwave solutions vendor to introduce a fully functioning LoS 4x4 MIMO (multiple inputs, multiple outputs) radio. Taking advantage of LoS MIMO technology, our solutions quadruple the available capacity over a single frequency channel using a single, compact FibeAir IP-20C device.

 
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Our Services

We are committed to providing high levels of service and implementation support to our customers. Our sales and network field engineering services personnel work closely with customers, system integrators and others to coordinate network design and ensure successful deployment of our solutions.

We offer our customers turnkey project services that include: advanced network and radio planning, site survey, solutions development, installation, maintenance, training and more.  We are increasingly engaged in projects in which we provide the requisite installation, supervision and testing services, either directly or through subcontractors.

We support our products with documentation and training courses tailored to our customers’ varied needs. We have the capability to remotely monitor the in-network performance of our products and to diagnose and address problems that may arise. We help our customers to integrate our network management system into their existing internal network operations control centers.

Our Customers

We have sold our products through a variety of channels to over 430 service providers and the operators of hundreds of private networks in more than 130 countries. Our principal customers are mobile operators, cellular operators and wireless service providers that use our products to expand backhaul network capacity, reduce backhaul costs and support the provision of advanced telecommunications services. In 2014, we maintained our positioning as the number one wireless backhaul specialist, in terms of unit shipments and global distribution of our business.  While most of our sales are direct, we do reach a number of these customers through OEM or distributor relationships. We also sell systems to large businesses and public institutions that operate their own private communications networks through system integrators, resellers and distributors. Our customer base is diverse in terms of both size and geographic location.

In 2014, customers from the Europe region contributed 16% of total yearly revenue. Our sales in Latin America and Africa reached 22% and 15% of yearly revenue in 2014 respectively. Our sales in Asia Pacific (excluding India), North America and India in 2014 were 11%, 11% and 25%, respectively.
 
 
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The following table summarizes the distribution of our revenues by region, stated as a percentage of total revenues for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and the names of representative customers:
 
     
Year Ended December 31,
     
     
2012
     
2013
     
2014
     
Region                           Representative Customers
North America
    9 %     9 %     11 %  
T-Mobile, Govnet, Peg Bandwidth, Connectronics, Tessco, Conterra
Europe
    22 %     18 %     16 %  
Hutchison 3, Telenor Serbia,  KPN, Tele2, Telecom Austria Group
Africa
    13 %     20 %     15 %  
Airtel,  Globacom, Vodacom
India
    12 %     8 %     25 %  
Bharti Airtel, IDEA Cellular, Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio infocom, Tata Teleservices
APAC (excluding India)
    16 %     11 %     11 %  
Optus Australia, Smartfren, Viettel
Latin America
    28 %     34 %     22 %  
Telefonica, Telcel, America Movil

Sales and Marketing

We sell our products through a variety of channels, including direct sales, OEMs, resellers, distributors and system integrators. Our sales and marketing staff includes approximately 613 employees in numerous countries worldwide, who work together with local agents, distributors and OEMs to expand our sales.

We are a supplier to three key OEMs which together accounted for approximately 8.3% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014. System integrators distributors and resellers accounted for approximately 15.1% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014. We are focusing our efforts on direct sales, which accounted for approximately 76.6% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014, because we believe that this is the way to provide more value to our customers. We also plan to develop additional strategic relationships with equipment vendors, system integrators, networking companies and other industry suppliers with the goal of gaining greater access to our target markets.

Our marketing efforts include advertising, public relations and participation in industry trade shows and conferences.
 
Manufacturing and Assembly

Our manufacturing process consists of materials planning and procurement, assembly of indoor units and outdoor units, final product assurance testing, quality control and packaging and shipping. With the goal of streamlining all manufacturing and assembly processes, we have implemented an outsourced, just-in-time manufacturing strategy that relies on contract manufacturers to manufacture and assemble circuit boards and other components used in our products and to assemble and test indoor units and outdoor units for us. The use of advanced supply chain techniques has enabled us to increase our manufacturing capacity, reduce our manufacturing costs and improve our efficiency.

We outsource most of our manufacturing operations to major contract manufacturers in Israel, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. Some of our manufacturing and warehousing is done in our production facility in Slovakia. On March 18, 2015 we signed a contract with a certain contract manufacturer to outsource our production facility in Slovakia. The production transfer to the new manufacturer will take place during 2015.  Most of our warehouse operations are outsourced to subcontractors in Israel and the Philippines. The raw materials for our products come primarily from the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. In 2012 we opened an RMA (return merchandise authorization) center at our subcontractor site in the Philippines to improve cost efficiencies in handling repairs and in 2011 we opened an RMA  center in India at our New Delhi offices to provide quick and efficient repair services to our customers in that region.
 
 
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We comply with standards promulgated by the International Organization for Standardization and have received certification under the ISO 9001 and ISO 14000 standards. These standards define the procedures required for the manufacture of products with predictable and stable performance and quality, as well as environmental guidelines for our operations. Our headquarters in Tel Aviv and our production plant in Slovakia are certified to OHSAS 18001 for Occupational Health and Safety assurance system.

Our activities in Europe require that we comply with European Union Directives with respect to product quality assurance standards and environmental standards including the “RoHS” (Restrictions of Hazardous Substances) Directive.

Research and Development

We place considerable emphasis on research and development to improve and expand the capabilities of our existing products, to develop new products, with particular emphasis on equipment for transitioning to IP-based networks, and to lower the cost of producing both existing and future products. We intend to continue to devote a significant portion of our personnel and financial resources to research and development. As part of our product development process, we maintain close relationships with our customers to identify market needs and to define appropriate product specifications. In addition, we intend to continue to comply with industry standards and, in order to participate in the formulation of European standards, we are full members of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

Our research and development activities are conducted mainly at our facilities in Tel Aviv, Israel and also at our subsidiaries in Greece and Romania. As part of the restructuring activities in 2013, we closed our research and development activities in Bergen, Norway. As of December 31, 2014, our research, development and engineering staff consisted of 220 employees. Our research and development team includes highly specialized engineers and technicians with expertise in the fields of millimeter wave design, modem and signal processing, data communications, system management and networking solutions.
 
Our research and development department provides us with the ability to design and develop most of the aspects of our proprietary solutions, from the chip-level, including both application specific integrated circuits, or ASICs and RFICs, to full system integration. Our research and development projects currently in process include extensions to our leading IP-based networking product lines and development of new technologies to support future product concepts. In addition, our engineers continually work to redesign our products with the goal of improving their manufacturability and testability while reducing costs.

Intellectual Property

To safeguard our proprietary technology, we rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws, confidentiality agreements and other contractual arrangements with our customers, third-party distributors, consultants and employees, each of which affords only limited protection. We have a policy which requires all of our employees to execute employment agreements which contain confidentiality provisions.

Our patent portfolio may not be as extensive as those of our competitors. As a result, we may have limited ability to assert any patent rights in negotiations with, or in counterclaiming against, competitors who assert intellectual property rights against us. To date, we have 21 patents granted in the United States and other foreign jurisdictions including the EPO (European Patent Office) and 22 patent applications pending in the United States and other foreign jurisdictions including the EPO. We cannot assure you that any patents will actually be issued or that the scope of any issued patent will adequately protect our intellectual property rights.

We have registered trademarks as follows:

 
for the standard character mark Ceragon Networks and our logo in the United States, Israel, and the European Union;
 
 
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for the standard character mark Ceragon Networks in Canada;
 
 
for the standard character mark CERAGON in Russia, Morocco, Israel, Mexico, Malaysia, United States, South Africa,  the Philippines and International Registration (protection granted in Australia, Iceland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Switzerland, Croatia, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, CTM (European Union), Turkey  and Singapore);
 
 
for our design mark for FibeAir in the United States, Israel and the European Union;
 
 
for the standard character mark FibeAir in the United States;
 
 
for the standard character mark CeraView in the United States, Israel and the European Union; and
 
 
For the standard character mark Native2 in India.

We have pending trademark applications s as follows:

 
for the standard character mark CERAGON in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, India, Nigeria, Venezuela, and International Registration (protection pending in China, Egypt,  Kenya, Macedonia and Vietnam).

Competition

The market for wireless equipment is rapidly evolving, fragmented, highly competitive and subject to rapid technological change. We expect competition, which may differ from region to region, to persist, intensify and increase in the future, especially if rapid technological developments occur in the broadband wireless equipment industry or in other competing high-speed access technologies. We also expect consolidation to continue as some players are looking to exit the wireless backhaul space in order to focus on other lines of their business. We believe that in a consolidating market the role of microwave specialists, such as ourselves, will be more significant.

We compete with a number of wireless equipment providers worldwide that vary in size and in the types of products and solutions they offer. Our primary competitors include industry “generalists” such as Alcatel-Lucent, Fujitsu Limited, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., L.M. Ericsson Telephone Company, NEC Corporation, Nokia Solutions and Networks B.V. (NSN) and ZTE Corporation. In addition to these primary competitors, a number of other smaller “specialist” microwave communications equipment suppliers, including Aviat Networks, DragonWave Inc., and SIAE Microelectronica S.p.A offer or are developing products that compete with our products.

Additionally, the telecommunications equipment industry has experienced significant consolidation among its participants, and we expect this trend to continue.  Examples include our acquisition of Nera in January 2011 and the 2012 acquisition by DragonWave of the microwave division of NSN, which itself was formed as a joint venture between Nokia and Siemens. Other examples include the mergers of Alcatel and Lucent and the wireless divisions of Harris and Stratex Networks, and the acquisition by Ericsson of Marconi. These consolidations have increased the size and thus the competitive resources of these companies.
 
We believe we compete favorably on the basis of:

 
our focus on the mobile market and active involvement in shaping next generation standards and technologies;

 
product performance, reliability and functionality;

 
range and maturity of product portfolio, including the ability to provide both circuit switch and IP solutions and therefore to provide a migration path for circuit-switched to IP-based networks;

 
cost structure;

 
focus on high-capacity, point-to-point microwave technology, which allows us to quickly adapt to our customers’ evolving needs;
 
 
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range of turnkey services offering for faster deployment of an entire network and reduced total cost of ownership; and

 
support and technical service, experience and commitment to high quality customer service.

Our products also indirectly compete with other high-speed communications solutions, including fiber optic lines and other wireless technologies.

Israeli Office of Chief Scientist

The Government of Israel encourages research and development projects through the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, or the OCS, pursuant to the Law for the Encouragement of Industrial Research and Development, 1984, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, commonly referred to as the R&D Law.
 
Under the R&D Law, we applied for and were granted R&D grants. In exchange, we as a recipient of such grants were required to pay the OCS royalties from the revenues derived from products developed within the framework of such R&D programs.
 
In December 2006, we entered into an agreement with the OCS to conclude our R&D grant programs sponsored by the OCS and by 2008, retired all the debt remaining therefrom.  The R&D Law generally requires that the product developed under a program be manufactured in Israel. However, upon the approval of the OCS, some of the manufacturing volume may be performed outside of Israel, provided that the grant recipient pays royalties at an increased rate and at an increased total amount, which may be substantial.
 
The R&D Law also provides that know-how developed under an approved research and development program may not be transferred to third parties in Israel without the approval of the research committee.  Such approval is not required for the sale or export of any products resulting from such research or development. The R&D Law further provides that the know-how developed under such research and development program may not be transferred to any third parties outside Israel, except in certain circumstances and subject to prior OCS approval, which may be conditioned by payment of substantial payments or reciprocal exchange of know-how with the recipient or a cooperation program therewith.
 
The R&D Law imposes reporting requirements with respect to certain changes in the ownership of a grant recipient. The law requires the grant recipient and its controlling shareholders and foreign interested parties to notify the OCS of any change in control of the recipient or a change in the holdings of the means of control of the recipient that results in a non-Israeli becoming an interested party directly in the recipient and requires the new interested party to undertake to the OCS to comply with the R&D Law.  In addition, the rules of the OCS may require additional information or representations in respect of certain of such events. For this purpose, “control” is defined as the ability to direct the activities of a company other than any ability arising solely from serving as an officer or director of the company. A person is presumed to have control if such person holds 50% or more of the means of control of a company.  “Means of control” refers to voting rights or the right to appoint directors or the chief executive officer. An “interested party” of a company includes a holder of 5% or more of its outstanding share capital or voting rights, its chief executive officer and directors, someone who has the right to appoint its chief executive officer or at least one director, and a company with respect to which any of the foregoing interested parties owns 25% or more of the outstanding share capital or voting rights or has the right to appoint 25% or more of the directors.  Accordingly, any non-Israeli who acquires 5% or more of our ordinary shares will be required to notify the OCS that it has become an interested party and to sign an undertaking to comply with the R&D Law.

In each of 2013 and 2014 we received new approvals for grants from the Government of Israel through the OCS, for the financing of certain research and development expenditures in Israel (the “New Grants”) in the amounts of approximately $0.7 million, which has already been received, and $1.8 million, which has been partially received, respectively.  The New Grants require us to comply with the requirements of the R&D Law in the same manner applicable to previous grants, provided, however, that the obligation to pay royalties on sales of products based on technology or know how developed with the New Grants does not apply to us, but may apply, under certain conditions, to a recipient of the technology or know how developed with the New Grants, to the extent such is sold and/or transferred.
 
 
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In addition to the royalty-bearing grants described above, in March 2014 we agreed to participate in two “Magnet” Consortium Programs (the “Programs”)sponsored by the OCS, which grants do not bear any royalty obligations. In the framework of the Programs, intended to support innovative generic industry-oriented technologies, we are to cooperate with additional companies and research institutes. The R&D Law applies to these programs, including the restrictions on transfer of know how or manufacturing outside of Israel, as described above. In 2013 and 2014 we received a total of $1 million from the OCS under the Programs, and we anticipate receiving further sums of approximately $0.8 million in each of 2015 and 2016, respectively, subject to our compliance with the terms of the Programs.
 
C.    Organizational Structure
 
We are an Israeli company that commenced operations in 1996. The following is a list of our significant subsidiaries:
 
Company
 
Place of Incorporation
 
Ownership Interest
         
Ceragon Networks, Inc.
 
New Jersey
 
100%
Ceragon Networks AS
 
Norway
 
100%
Ceragon America Latina Ltda.
 
Brazil
 
100%
Ceragon Networks s.r.o
 
Slovakia
 
100%
Ceragon Networks (India) Private Limited
 
India
 
100%
 
D.    Property, Plants and Equipment.
 
Our corporate headquarters and principal administrative, finance and operations departments are located at a leased facility of approximately 83,496 square feet of office space in Tel Aviv, Israel.  The leases for the majority of this space will expire December 31, 2017, with an option to terminate early after three years that has elapsed at the end of 2014. At the end of 2014, we informed the landlord of our intention to reduce the leased office space by approximately 21,129 square feet at the end of 2015.
 
We also lease the following space at the following properties:
 
 
·
in the United States, we lease approximately 5,888 square feet of office space in Paramus, New Jersey and approximately 12,000 square feet of office space in Richardson, Texas.  The lease in Paramus is valid until April 2015 and the lease in Texas is valid until May 2018; we have leased 5,348 square feet of new premises in overlook at Great Notch, NJ  expiring April, 2021
 
 
·
in Norway, we lease approximately 72,310 square feet of office space in Bergen.  In May 2014, we moved to new premises in Bergen leasing approximately 12,000 square feet of office space expiring in May 2019;
 
 
·
in India, we lease approximately 11,737 square feet of office space in New Delhi expiring in October 2016;
 
 
·
in Slovakia, we lease approximately 44,780 square feet of manufacturing facility in Liptovsky Hradoc expiring in September 2015. The Company is in a process of outsourcing  Slovakia manufacturing and securing a new office space; and
 
 
·
in Brazil we lease approximately 33,850 square feet of office and warehouse space in Barueri expiring in December 2017. We are expecting to reduce the office and warehouse space in the second quarter of 2015 to approximately 13,000 square feet.
 
 
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We also lease space for other local subsidiaries to conduct pre-sales and marketing activities in their respective regions.
 
ITEM 4A.                   UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 5.                      OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS
 
The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements, the notes to those financial statements and other financial data that appear elsewhere in this annual report. In addition to historical information, the following discussion contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of certain events may differ significantly from those projected in such forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those set forth in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this annual report. Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in conformity with U.S. GAAP.

A.
Operating Results

Overview
 
         We are the number one wireless backhaul specialist in terms of unit shipments and global distribution of our business.  We provide wireless backhaul solutions that enable cellular operators and other wireless service providers to deliver voice and data services, enabling smart-phone applications such as Internet browsing, social networking applications, image sharing, music and video applications.  Our wireless backhaul solutions use microwave technology to transfer large amounts of telecommunication traffic between base stations and small-cells and the core of the service provider’s network.
 
        Designed for all Internet Protocol  (IP) network  configurations, including risk-free migration from legacy to next-generation backhaul and fronthaul , our solutions provide fiber-like connectivity for next generation Ethernet/Internet Protocol, or IP-based, networks; for legacy circuit-switched, or SONET/SDH, networks and for hybrid networks that combine IP and circuit-switching. Our solutions support all wireless access technologies, including LTE-Advanced, LTE, HSPA, EV-DO, CDMA, W-CDMA and GSM. These solutions allow wireless service providers to cost-effectively and seamlessly evolve their networks from circuit-switched and hybrid concepts to all IP. In addition, our solutions allow for the proliferation of small-cell heterogeneous networks (HetNets), thereby meeting the increasing demands by the growing numbers of subscribers and the increasing needs for mobile data services. Our systems also serve evolving network architectures including all-IP long haul networks.
 
        We also provide our solutions to other non-carrier vertical markets such as oil and gas companies, public safety network operators, businesses and public institutions, broadcasters, energy utilities and others that operate their own private communications networks. Our solutions are deployed by more than 430 service providers of all sizes, as well as in hundreds of private networks, in nearly 130 countries.

In March 2013, we received $113.7 million of credit facilities which replaced all of the Company’s previous credit facilities.  In October 2013 and again in April 2014, we obtained the bank syndicate's consent for temporary less restrictive financial covenants. On March 31, 2015 we reached an agreement with the bank syndicate amending our existing credit facility agreement including certain relief under our covenants and other changes in our credit facility, and an extension of the agreement with certain reductions in the maximum credit until June 30, 2016.  See Liquidity and Capital Resources below, for more detailed discussion.
 
 
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In December 2014, we announced a significant new restructuring of our operations to reduce our operational costs. The restructuring plan is intended to realign operations, reduce head count and undertake other cost reduction measures in order to lower our breakeven point and improve profitability. Once the restructuring and other cost reduction measures are completed, they are expected to result in annual savings of approximately $18 to $22 million. The restructuring plan includes relocating certain offices and reducing staff functions and some operations positions, as well as other measures. In 2014 we incurred restructuring charges of $6.8 million, primarily due to 2014 restructuring plan. In addition, we incurred a $4.4 million write-off of discontinued product inventory related to the restructuring plan in the fourth quarter of 2014 and we estimate additional costs will be approximately $1 to $2 million during the first half of 2015.
 
In April 2014, we signed an agreement with Eltek ASA to settle all claims, counter claims, legal proceedings, and any other contingent or potential claims regarding alleged breaches of representations and warranties contained in the purchase agreement governing the Nera Acquisition in January 2011. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, we received $17 million in cash.
 
In August 2014, the Company completed a public offering of its shares on NASDAQ. Total net proceeds from the issuance amounted to approximately $ 45.1 million, net of issuance expenses in the amount of $ 400 thousand.

Industry Trends

Market trends have placed, and will continue to place, pressure on the selling prices for our products. Our objective is to continue to meet the demand for our solutions while at the same time increasing our profitability. We seek to achieve this objective by constantly reviewing and improving our execution in, among others, development, manufacturing and sales and marketing. Set forth below is a more detailed discussion of the trends affecting our business:

 
Growing Number of Global Wireless Subscribers. Growth in the number of global wireless subscribers is being driven by the availability of inexpensive cellular phones and more affordable wireless service, particularly in developing countries and emerging markets, and is being addressed by expanding wireless networks and by building new networks.

 
Increasing Demand for Mobile Data Services. Cellular operators and other wireless service providers are facing increasing demand from subscribers to deliver voice and data services, including Internet browsing, music and video applications.

 
The emergence of small cells and HetNets present wireless backhaul challenges that differ from those of traditional macro-cells. Small cells and HetNet architectures can be used to provide a second layer of coverage in 3G and LTE networks, resulting in higher throughput and data rates for the end-user.

 
Transition to IP-based Networks. Cellular operators and other wireless service providers are deploying all-IP networks and upgrading their infrastructure to interface with an IP-based core network in order to increase network efficiency, lower operating costs and more effectively deliver high-bandwidth data services.

 
Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) deliver network architectures that transition networks from a world of task-specific dedicated equipment elements, to a world of optimization of network performance through network intelligence.

 
Network sharing business models are being adopted by mobile network operators (MNOs) who are faced with increasing competition from over-the-top players and an ever-growing capacity crunch. Network sharing can be particularly effective in the backhaul portion of mobile networks, especially as conventional macro cells evolve into super-sized macro sites that require exponentially more bandwidth for backhaul.
 
 
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We are also experiencing pressure on our sale prices as a result of several factors:

 
Increased Competition: Our target market is characterized by vigorous, worldwide competition for market share and rapid technological development. These factors have resulted in aggressive pricing practices and downward pricing pressures, and growing competition from both start-up companies and well-capitalized telecommunication systems providers.

 
Regional Pricing Pressures: A significant portion of our sales derives from Latin America and India in response to the rapid build-out of cellular networks in this region. For the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014, 28% 34% and 22%, respectively, of our revenues were earned in Latin America. For the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014, 12%, 8% and 25%, respectively, of our revenues were earned in India. Sales of our products in these markets are generally at lower gross margins in comparison to other regions.  Recently, network operators have started to share parts of their network infrastructure through cooperation agreements rather than legal considerations, which may adversely affect demand for network equipment.

 
Transaction Size: Competition for larger equipment orders is increasingly intense due to the fact that the number of large equipment orders in any year is limited. Consequently, we generally experience greater pricing pressure when we compete for larger orders as a result of this increased competition and demand from purchasers for greater volume discounts. As an increasing portion of our revenues is derived from large orders, we believe that our business will be more susceptible to these pressures.

As we continue to focus on operational improvements, these price pressures may have a negative impact on our gross margins.

As we continue to adjust our geographic footprint, we are increasingly engaged in supplying installation and other services for our customers, often in emerging markets. In this context, we may act as prime contractor and equipment supplier for network build-out projects, providing installation, supervision and commissioning services required for these projects, or we may provide such services and equipment for projects handled by system integrators. In such cases, we typically bear the risks of loss and damage to our products until the customer has issued an acceptance certificate upon successful completion of acceptance tests. If our products are damaged or stolen, or if the network we install does not pass the acceptance tests, the end user or the system integrator, as the case may be, could delay payment to us and we would incur substantial costs, including fees owed to our installation subcontractors, increased insurance premiums, transportation costs and expenses related to repairing or manufacturing the products. Moreover, in such a case, we may not be able to repossess the equipment, thus suffering additional losses.  Also these projects are turn-key projects, which involve fixed-price contracts. We assume greater financial risks on fixed-price projects, which routinely involve the provision of installation and other services, versus short-term projects, which do not similarly require us to provide services or require customer acceptance certificates in order for us to recognize revenue.

                Until 2011, our revenues had grown rapidly; our revenues were flat in 2012 decreased significantly in 2013 and went up slightly in 2014. We cannot assure you that we will be able to resume growth in future periods, taking also into consideration that a large portion of the growth resulted from the Nera Acquisition.

On December 15, 2014 we announced certain steps in order to accelerate our return to profitability. Some of these steps included managing the revenue mix more carefully, and to seeking revised pricing, payment and other terms on new orders in certain situations. These steps may impact our market share and as a result may adversely affect our revenues and results of operations.

Results of Operations

Revenues. We generate revenues primarily from the sale of our products, and, to a lesser extent, services. The final price to the customer may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the size of a given transaction, the geographic location of the customer, the specific application for which products are sold, the channel through which products are sold, the competitive environment and the results of negotiation.
 
 
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Cost of Revenues. Our cost of revenues consists primarily of the prices we pay contract manufacturers for the products they manufacture for us, the costs of off the shelf parts, accessories and antennas, the costs of our manufacturing facility, estimated warranty costs, costs related to management of our manufacturing facility, supply chain and shipping as well as inventory devaluation and write-down costs. In addition, we pay salaries and related costs to our employees and fees to subcontractors relating to installation services with respect to our products.

Significant Expenses

Research and Development Expenses. Our research and development expenses consist primarily of salaries and related costs for research and development personnel, subcontractors’ costs, costs of materials and depreciation of equipment. All of our research and development costs are expensed as incurred. We believe continued investment in research and development is essential to attaining our strategic objectives.

Selling and Marketing Expenses. Our selling and marketing expenses consist primarily of compensation and related costs for sales and marketing personnel, amortization of intangible assets, trade show and exhibit expenses, travel expenses, commissions and promotional materials.

General and Administrative Expenses. Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of compensation and related costs for executive, finance, information system and human resources personnel, professional fees (including legal and accounting fees), insurance, provisions for doubtful accounts and other general corporate expenses.

Restructuring costs. Our restructuring expenses consisted primarily of severance and related benefit charges, and to a lesser extent, facilities costs related to obligations under non-cancelable leases for facilities that we ceased to use and other associated costs.

Financial Income (expenses), net.  Our financial income (expenses), net, consists primarily of interest paid on bank debts, gains and losses arising from the re-measurement of transactions and balances denominated in non-dollar currencies into dollars, gains and losses from our currency hedging activity, amortization of marketable securities premium, net, and other fees and commissions paid to banks, offset by interest earned on bank deposits and marketable securities.

Taxes. Our tax expenses consist of current corporate tax expenses in various locations and changes in deferred tax assets and liabilities.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. These accounting principles require management to make certain estimates, judgments and assumptions based upon information available at the time they are made, historical experience and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. These estimates, judgments and assumptions can affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements, as well as the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the periods presented.

Our management believes the accounting policies that affect its more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of its consolidated financial statements and which are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating our reported financial results include the following:

 
Revenue recognition;
 
 
Inventory valuation;
 
 
Provision for doubtful accounts;
 
 
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Taxes on income;
 
 
Stock-based compensation expense; and
 
 
Impairment of goodwill and long-lived assets.
 
Revenue recognition. We generate revenues from selling products to end users, distributors, system integrators and original equipment manufacturers (“OEM”).

Revenues from product sales are recognized in accordance with ASC topic 605-10, “Revenue recognition” and with ASC 605-25 “Multiple-Element Arrangements” (“ASC 605”), when delivery has occurred, persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the vendor's fee is fixed or determinable, no future obligation exists and collectability is probable.

In case the sale is subject to a right of return, we record a provision for estimated sale returns and stock rotation granted to customers on products in the same period the related revenues are recorded in accordance with ASC 605. These estimates are based on historical sales returns, stock rotations and other know factors. Such provisions were immaterial as of December 31, 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Pursuant to the guidance of ASU 605-25, “Multiple Deliverable Revenue Arrangements,” when a sales arrangement contains multiple elements, such as equipment and services, we allocate revenues to each element based on a selling price hierarchy. The selling price for a deliverable is based on its vendor specific objective evidence (‘‘VSOE’’) if available, third party evidence (‘‘TPE’’) if VSOE is not available, or estimated selling price (‘‘ESP’’) if neither VSOE nor TPE is available. In multiple element arrangements, revenues are allocated to each separate unit of accounting for each of the deliverables using the relative estimated selling prices of each of the deliverables in the arrangement based on the aforementioned selling price hierarchy.

In certain arrangements, we consider the sale of equipment and its installation to be two separate units of accounting in the arrangement in which the installation is not essential to the functionality of the equipment, the equipment has value to the customer on a standalone basis and whenever the arrangement does not include a general right of return relative to the delivered item or delivery or performance of the undelivered item(s) is considered probable and substantially in the control of the Company. In such an arrangement, revenues from the sale of equipment are recognized upon delivery, if all other revenue recognition criteria are met and the installation revenues are deferred to the period in which such installation occurs (but not less than the amount contingent upon completion of installation, if any) using relative selling prices of each of the deliverables based on the aforementioned selling price hierarchy.

We determine the selling price in our multiple-element arrangements by reviewing historical transactions, and considering internal factors including, but not limited to, pricing practices including discounting, margin objectives, and competition. The determination of ESP is made through consultation with   management, taking into consideration the pricing model and strategy.

When sale arrangements include a customer acceptance provision, revenue is recognized when we demonstrate that the criteria specified in the acceptance provision has been satisfied or as the acceptance provision has lapsed and deemed to be attained.

To assess the probability of collection for revenue recognition purposes, we analyze historical collection experience, current economic trends and the financial position of our customers. On the basis of these criteria, we conclude whether revenue recognition should be deferred and recognized on a cash basis.

Deferred revenue includes unearned amounts received in our arrangements, and amounts received from customers but not recognized as revenues due to the fact that these transactions did not meet the revenue recognition criteria.

Inventory valuation. Our inventories are stated at the lower of cost or market value. Cost is determined by using the moving average cost method. At each balance sheet date, we evaluate our inventory balance for excess quantities and obsolescence. This evaluation includes an analysis of slow-moving items and sales levels by product and projections of future demand. If needed, we write off inventories that are considered obsolete or excessive. If future demand or market conditions are less favorable than our projections, additional inventory write-downs may be required and would be reflected in cost of revenues in the period the revision is made. As of December 31, 2014 our inventory write-off provision was $5.2 million.
 
 
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Provision for doubtful accounts. We perform ongoing credit evaluations of our trade receivables and maintain an allowance for doubtful accounts, based upon our judgment as to our ability to collect outstanding receivables. Allowance for doubtful accounts is made based upon a specific review of all the overdue outstanding invoices. In determining the provisions, we analyze our historical collection experience, current economic trends, the financial position of our customers and the payment guarantees (such as letters of credit) that we receive from our customers. We also insure certain trade receivables under credit insurance policies. If the financial condition of our customers deteriorates, resulting in their inability to make payments, additional allowances might be required. As of December 31, 2014, our allowance for doubtful accounts was $8.4 million and our trade receivables were $162.6 million. Historically, our provision for doubtful accounts has been sufficient to account for our bad debts.

Taxes on income. We utilize the liability method of accounting for income taxes. We record a valuation allowance to reduce our deferred tax assets to the amount that we believe is more likely than not to be realized. In assessing the need for a valuation allowance, we consider all positive and negative evidence, including scheduled reversals of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income, tax planning strategies, and recent financial performance. Forming a conclusion that a valuation allowance is not required is difficult when there is negative evidence such as cumulative losses in the past. As a result of our cumulative losses and the utilization of our loss carry forward opportunities, we have recorded valuation allowances to reduce our net deferred tax assets to the amount we believe is more likely than not to be realized. While we have considered future taxable income and ongoing tax planning strategies in assessing the need for any valuation allowance, in the event we were to determine that it is more likely than not that we will be able to realize our deferred tax assets in the future in excess of the net recorded amount, an adjustment to the valuation allowance would increase income in the period such a determination is made. Likewise, should we determine that it is more likely than not that we would not be able to realize all or part of our net deferred tax assets in the future, an adjustment to the valuation allowance would be charged to expenses in the period such a determination is made. As a result, in the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014 we recorded a tax income (expense) from the adjustment of the deferred tax assets in the amount of approximately $0.2 million, $(4.0) million and $(9.9) million , respectively.

We establish reserves for tax-related uncertainties based on estimates of whether, and the extent to which, additional taxes will be due. These reserves are established when we believe that certain positions might be challenged despite our belief that our tax return positions are in accordance with applicable tax laws. As part of the determination of our tax liability, management exercises considerable judgment in evaluating tax positions taken by us in determining the income tax provision and establishes reserves for tax contingencies in accordance with ASC 740 “Income Taxes” guidelines. We adjust these reserves in light of changing facts and circumstances, such as the closing of a tax audit, new tax legislation or the change of an estimate based on new information. To the extent that the final tax outcome of these matters is different from the amounts recorded, such differences will affect the provision for income taxes in the period in which such determination is made. The provision for income taxes includes the effect of reserve provisions and changes to reserves that are considered appropriate, as well as the related interest and penalties.

Management’s judgment is required in determining our provision for income taxes in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate. The provision for income tax is calculated based on our assumptions as to our entitlement to various benefits under the applicable tax laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate. The entitlement to such benefits depends upon our compliance with the terms and conditions set out in these laws. Although we believe that our estimates are reasonable and that we have considered future taxable income and ongoing prudent and feasible tax strategies in estimating our tax outcome, there is no assurance that the final tax outcomes will not be different than those which are reflected in our historical income tax provisions and accruals. Such differences could have a material effect on our income tax provision, net income and cash balances in the period in which such determination is made.

Stock-based compensation expense. ASC 718, “Compensation- Stock Compensation,” requires companies to estimate the fair value of equity-based payment awards on the date of grant using an option-pricing model. The value of the portion of the award that is ultimately expected to vest is recognized as an expense over the requisite service periods in our consolidated income statement.
 
 
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We selected the binomial option pricing model as the most appropriate fair value method for our share-option awards based on the market value of the underlying shares at the date of grant. We recognize compensation expenses for the value of our awards, which have graded vesting, based on the accelerated attribution method over the requisite service period, net of estimated forfeitures. Estimated forfeitures are based on actual historical pre-vesting forfeitures and on management’s estimates. If actual forfeitures differ from our estimates, stock-based compensation expense and our results of operations would be impacted.

Stock-based compensation expense recognized under ASC 718 was $5.5 million, $3.8 million and $3.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets. Our long-lived assets include property and equipment, goodwill and identifiable other intangible assets that are subject to amortization. In assessing the recoverability of our goodwill, property and equipment and other identifiable intangible assets that are held and used, we make judgments regarding whether impairment indicators exist based on our legal factors, market conditions and operating performances. Future events could cause us to conclude that impairment indicators exist and that the carrying values of the goodwill, property and equipment and other intangible assets are impaired. Any resulting impairment loss could have a material adverse impact on our financial position and results of operations.

ASC 350 “Intangible – Goodwill and Other,” requires that goodwill be tested for impairment on an annual basis and between annual tests if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of the Company below its carrying value. These events or circumstances could include a significant change in the business climate, legal factors, operating performance indicators, competition or sale or disposition of a significant portion of the company. We have concluded that we have one reporting unit. The goodwill impairment test is a two-step test. Under the first step, the fair value of the company is compared with its carrying value (including goodwill). If the fair value of the company is less than its carrying value, an indication of goodwill impairment exists and we must perform step two of the impairment test (measurement). Under step two, an impairment loss is recognized for any excess of the carrying amount of the company’s goodwill over the implied fair value of that goodwill. If the fair value of the company exceeds its carrying value, step two does not need to be performed. The fair value of the Company is estimated using a discounted cash flow methodology. This requires significant judgments including estimation of future cash flows, which is dependent on internal forecasts, estimation of our long-term rate of growth, the period over which cash flows will occur and determination of our weighted average cost of capital. Changes in these estimates and assumptions could materially affect the determination of fair value or goodwill impairment for the Company. During 2014, we recognized impairment of goodwill in the amount of $14.8 million primarily from Nera Acquisition.
 
We are required to assess the impairment of long-lived assets, tangible and intangible, other than goodwill, under ASC 360 “Property, Plant, and Equipment,” when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. Impairment indicators include any significant changes in the manner of our use of the assets or the strategy of our overall business, significant negative industry or economic trends and significant decline in our share price for a sustained period. Our 2014 restructuring plan has created the need for such an assessment in 2014.
 
Upon determination that the carrying value of a long-lived asset may not be recoverable based upon a comparison of aggregate undiscounted projected future cash flows to the carrying amount of the asset, an impairment charge is recorded for the excess of fair value over the carrying amount. We measure fair value using discounted projected future cash flows. During 2014, we recognized impairment of fixed assets in the amount of $2.4 million related to specific assets that will not be used as a result of our restructuring plan.
 
 
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Comparison of Period to Period Results of Operations

The following table presents consolidated statement of operations data for the periods indicated as a percentage of total revenues.
   
   
Year Ended December 31
 
   
2012
   
2013
   
2014
 
Revenues
    100 %     100 %     100 %
Cost of revenues
    69       69       77.2  
Gross profit
    31       31       22.8  
Operating expenses:
                       
Research and development, net
    10.6       11.9       9.4  
Selling and marketing
    17.3       18.7       15.1  
General and administrative
    6.2       7.4       6.4  
Restructuring costs   
    1       2.6       1.8  
Goodwill impairment   
    --       --       4.0  
Other income
    --       (2.1     (5.3
Total operating expenses
    35.1       38.5       31.4  
Operating loss
    4.1       7.4       8.6  
Financial expenses, net
    0.8       3.9       10.2  
Taxes on income
    0.3       1.8       1.8  
Net loss
    5.2       13.1       20.6  

Year ended December 31, 2013 compared to year ended December 31, 2014
 
Revenues. Revenues increased from $361.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 to $371.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, an increase of $9.3 million, or 2.6%. Revenues in India increased from $26.6 million in 2013 to $92.1 million in 2014, primarily due to a new deployment cycle in a major customer. Revenues in Africa region decreased from $73.7 million in 2013 to $56.0 million in 2014, primarily due to a completion of a major deployment cycle in a major customer. Revenues in the Latin America region decreased from $122.2 million in 2013 to $82.1 million in 2014 due to a completion of a major deployment cycle in a single group customer in this region.
 
Cost of Revenues. Cost of revenues increased from $249.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 to $ 286.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, an increase of $ 37.2 million, or 14.9%. This increase was attributable mainly to the following:

 
·
Higher material costs primarily resulting from change in our revenue mix to one with lower prices of $38.8 million and inventory  write-off of discontinued product inventory , in the amount of $4.4 million; partially offset by
 
 
·
Lower subcontractors’ expenses in the amount of $12.2 million resulting from change in our revenues mix.
 
Gross Profit.  Gross profit as a percentage of revenues decreased from 31.0% for the year ended December 31, 2013 to 22.8% for the year ended December 31, 2014. This decrease was attributable mainly to change in our revenue mix to regions with lower prices.
 
 
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Research and Development Expenses, Net. Our net research and development expenses decreased from $43.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 to $35.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $8.0 million, or 18.5%. The net decrease in our research and development expenses was attributable primarily to a reduction of approximately $6.5 million in salary and related expenses as a result of the 2013 restructuring plan, a decrease of approximately $0.8 million in office related expenses, mainly as a result of the decrease in research and development activities in Norway partially offset by an increase of $0.4 million in grant from the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist. Our research and development efforts are a key element of our strategy and are essential to our success. We intend to maintain our commitment to research and development and an increase or a decrease in our total revenue would not necessarily result in a proportional increase or decrease in the levels of our research and development expenditures. As a percentage of revenues, research and development expenses decreased to 9.4% in the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to 11.9% for the year ended December 31, 2013.
 
Selling and Marketing Expenses. Selling and marketing expenses decreased from $67.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 to $56.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $11.6 million, or 17.2%. This decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease of approximately $4.9 million in salary and related expenses, mainly as a result of the 2013 restructuring plan, a decrease of $1.0 million in commissions as a result of a change in revenue mix, a decrease of $2.1 million in office expenses, mainly related to the closure of offices, a decrease of $1.8 million in travel expenses, and a decrease in stock based compensation expenses of $0.7 million. As a percentage of revenues, selling and marketing expenses were 15.1% in the year ended December 31, 2014 and 18.7% in the year ended December 31, 2013.

General and Administrative Expenses. General and administrative expenses decreased from $26.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 to $23.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $3.1 million, or 11.6%. This decrease was attributable primarily to a decrease of approximately $1.7 million in salary and related expenses, mainly as a result of the 2013 restructuring plan and, a decrease of $1.3 million in IT subcontractors related to our ERP implementation, partially offset by an increase in doubtful debt expenses of $1.5 million. As a percentage of revenues, general and administrative expenses were 7.4% and 6.4% for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Restructuring costs. Restructuring costs decreased from $9.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 to $6.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $2.5 million, or 27.1%, due to the completion of the 2013 restructuring and a smaller restructuring in 2014.

Goodwill impairment. Goodwill impairment for the year ended December 31, 2014 included $14.8 million primarily from the Nera Acquisition.

Other income. Other income for the year ended December 31, 2014 included $16.8 million related to the settlement agreement with Eltek ASA and $3.0 million related to the expiration of certain pre-acquisition indirect tax exposures in connection with the Nera Acquisition. Other income for the year ended December 31, 2013 included $7.7 million related to the expiration of certain pre-acquisition indirect tax exposures in connection with the Nera Acquisition.

Financial expenses, Net. Financial expenses, net increased from $14.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 to $37.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a change of $23.9 million. The increase in the financial expenses is mainly related to a $26.6 million non-recurring finance expense that consisted of $6.1 million of local currency devaluation and $20.5 million of re-measurement of certain assets denominated or linked to the U.S. dollar in Venezuela due to the Venezuelan government limitations on payments for imported goods in foreign currency. As a percentage of revenues, financial expenses, net increased to 10.2% in the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to 3.9% for the year ended December 31, 2013.
 
        Taxes on income. Taxes on income remained flat in 2014. Our current taxes on taxable income in our sales, distribution and manufacturing subsidiaries, where the local activities are profitable, have decreased by $2.2 million.  The reduction in tax provisions related to expiration of certain pre-acquisition direct tax exposures in connection with Nera Acquisition has increased by $4.2 million. These changes were offset by an increase in deferred tax expenses of $6.4 million, primarily due to devaluation of tax assets.
 
 
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Net loss. Net loss increased from $47.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 to $76.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. As a percentage of revenues, net loss increased from 13.1 % for the year ended December 31, 2013 to 20.6% for the year ended December 31, 2014. The increase in net loss was attributable primarily to the increase in financial expenses, and a small decrease in revenue as well as the decrease in gross profit, offset partially by a decrease in operating expenses.

Year ended December 31, 2012 compared to year ended December 31, 2013

Revenues. Revenues decreased from $446.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 to $361.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, a decrease of $84.9 million, or 19.0%, partially due to downturns in the telecommunication industry. Revenues in India decreased from $54.4 million in 2012 to $26.6 million in 2013, primarily due to completion of a major deployment cycle in one of our largest customers while our other major customers were still deferring their investment as a result of market and regulatory conditions. Revenues in the Europe region decreased from $97.1 million in 2012 to $62.9 million in 2013, primarily due to economic and market conditions and our inability to penetrate/obtain substantial new customers.  Revenues in the Asia Pacific region decreased from $70.7 million in 2012 to $40.7 million in 2013, primarily due to slow progress in penetrating new customers while our existing customers reduced their investment as part of cyclical investment patterns. The decrease in revenues was partially offset by an increase in the African region from $58.2 million in 2012 to $73.7 million in 2013. Revenues in the Latin America region remained flat in 2013.
 
Cost of Revenues.  Cost of revenues decreased from $308.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 to $249.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, a decrease of $58.9 million, or 19.1%. This decrease was attributable mainly to the following:

 
·
Lower material costs resulting from our reduction in revenues of $48.7 million;
 
 
·
Lower cost of inventory step-up adjustment of acquired deferred revenue and customer orders to be delivered as of the closing of the Nera Acquisition, in the amount of $4.0 million; and
 
 
·
Lower shipment and supply-related expenses in the amount of $3.6 million resulting from our reduction in revenues;
 
Gross Profit. Gross profit as a percentage of revenues was 31.0% for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013.

Research and Development Expenses, Net. Our net research and development expenses decreased from $47.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 to $43.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, a decrease of $4.5 million, or 9.5%. The decrease in our research and development expenses was attributable primarily to a reduction of approximately $1.5 million in salary and related expenses as a result of the 2012 and 2013 restructuring plans, a decrease of  approximately $1.3 million in subcontractors and related expenses, mainly as a result of the decrease in research and development activities in Norway, and  a decrease in stock based compensation expenses of $0.6 million, partially offset by a $0.6 grant from the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist received in 2013. As a percentage of revenues, research and development expenses increased to 11.9% in the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to 10.6% for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Selling and Marketing Expenses. Selling and marketing expenses decreased from $77.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 to $67.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, a decrease of $9.6 million, or 12.4%. This decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease of approximately $4.5 million in salary and related expenses, mainly as a result of the 2012 and 2013 restructuring plans, a decrease of $1.2 million in commissions as a result of the reduction in revenues, a decrease of $1.2 million in office expenses, mainly related to the closure of several offices in Europe, a decrease of $1.0 million in amortization of intangible assets and a decrease in stock based compensation expenses of $0.6 million . As a percentage of revenues, selling and marketing expenses were 18.7% in the year ended December 31, 2013 and 17.3% in the year ended December 31, 2012.

General and Administrative Expenses. General and administrative expenses decreased from $27.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 to $26.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, a decrease of $0.7 million, or 2.8%. This decrease was attributable primarily to a decrease of approximately $1.0 million in salary and related expenses, mainly as a result of the 2012 and 2013 restructuring plans, a decrease of $0.5 million in legal expenses and a decrease in stock based compensation expenses of $0.4 million, offset by a one-time expense in 2013 in the amount of  $1.3 million related to an adjustment of pension liabilities in Norway as a result of a change in the official Norwegian data regarding estimated life expectancy. As a percentage of revenues, general and administrative expenses were 6.2% and 7.4% for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, respectively.
 
 
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Restructuring costs. Restructuring costs increased from $4.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 to $9.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, an increase of $4.7 million, or 102.8%.

Other income. Other income for the year ended December 31, 2013 included $7.7 million related to the expiration of certain pre-acquisition indirect tax exposures in connection with the Nera Acquisition.

Financial expenses, Net. Financial expenses, net increased from $3.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 to $14.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, a change of $10.5 million. The increase in the financial expenses is mainly related to a $3.1 million non-recurring currency devaluation in Venezuela, a $3.3 million non-recurring charge related to actions taken in order to expatriate cash from Argentina, an increase in currency revaluation expenses in the amount of $3.4 million in various countries worldwide  and an increase in interest expenses of our short-term loans in the amount of $1.0 million, offset by an increase in finance income from marketable securities and bank deposits in the amount of $0.7 million. As a percentage of revenues, financial expenses, net increased to 3.9% in the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to 0.8% for the year ended December 31, 2012.
 
Taxes on income. Taxes on income increased from $1.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 to $6.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, an increase of $5.3 million. The increase in tax expenses was mainly attributable to a $4.0 million non-recurring adjustment of valuation allowance on tax assets in the year ended December 31, 2013, and to a $1.1 million increase in current taxes on taxable income in our sales, distribution and manufacturing subsidiaries, where the local activities are profitable.
 
Net loss. Net loss increased from $23.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 to $47.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. As a percentage of revenues, net loss increased from 5.2 % for the year ended December 31, 2012 to 13.1% for the year ended December 31, 2013. The increase in net loss was attributable primarily to the decrease in gross profit as a result of the reduction in revenues, as well as to the increase in financial and tax expenses, offset by a decrease in operating expenses.

Impact of Currency Fluctuations

We typically derive the majority of our revenues in U.S. dollars. Although the majority of our revenues were denominated in U.S. dollars, a significant portion of our expenses were denominated in NIS, NOK (Norwegian Kroner) and Euros. Our NIS- -denominated expenses consist principally of salaries and related personnel expenses. We anticipate that a material portion of our expenses will continue to be denominated in NIS.
 
In addition, because exchange rates between the dollar and the NIS, the NOK and the Euro fluctuate continuously, and because exchange rates between the dollar and the ARS (Argentine Peso), the VEB (Venezuelan bolivar) and the BRL (Brazilian Real) fluctuated significantly in recent years and continue to fluctuate, exchange rate fluctuations would have an impact on our results and period-to-period comparisons of our results. We partially reduce this currency exposure by entering into hedging transactions. The effects of foreign currency re-measurements are reported in our consolidated statements of operations. For a discussion of our hedging transactions, please see Item 11:”QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.”
 
Transactions and balances in currencies other than U.S. dollars are re-measured into U.S. dollars according to the principles in ASC topic 830, “Foreign Currency Matters”. Gains and losses arising from re-measurement are recorded as financial income or expense, as applicable.
 
 
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The following table presents information about the change in exchange rate of several major currencies against the dollar:

Change in the U.S. dollar against local currencies  
Year ended December 31,
 
NIS (%)
   
NOK (%)
   
Euro (%)
   
ARS (%)
   
VEB (%)
   
BRL (%)
 
2010
    (6.0 )     1.6       8.0       4.5       100.2       (3.1 )
2011
    7.7       3.0       3.3       7.9       0.0       8.2  
2012
    (2.3 )     (7.5 )     (2.1 )     13.6       0.0       13.5  
2013
    (7.0 )     9.0       (4.2 )     29.7       46.6       12.5  
2014
    12.1       22.3       13.5       34.2       694.6       13.3  

Effects of Government Regulations and Location on the Company’s Business

For a discussion of the effects of Israeli governmental regulation and our location in Israel on our business, see “Information on the Company – Business Overview – Conditions in Israel” in Item 4 and the “Risks Relating to Israel” as well as the Risk Factor “Our international operations expose us to the risk of fluctuation in currency exchange rates and restrictions related to cash repatriation in Item 3, above.

B.    Liquidity and Capital Resources

Since our initial public offering in August 2000, we have financed our operations primarily through the proceeds of that initial public offering and follow-on offering and through royalty-bearing grants from the OCS. In the initial public offering, we raised $97.8 million; and through December 31, 2006, we received a total of $18.5 million from the OCS. In follow-on public offerings completed in December 2007 November 2013 and August 2014, we raised net amounts of $88.3 million $35.0 million and $45.1 million, respectively.

In January 2011, we entered into a loan agreement with Bank Hapoalim B.M. in the principal amount of $35 million (the Bank Hapoalim Agreement). The Bank Hapoalim Agreement provided that the principal amount of $35 million bore interest at a rate of Libor + 3.15%, which Libor was updated every three months. The principal amount was to be repaid in 17 quarterly installments from February 19, 2012, through February 19, 2016 and the interest was to be paid in quarterly payments starting as of February 19, 2011.  As of December 31, 2014, the balance of the loan amounted to $10.3 million including current maturities in the amount of $8.2 million.

In March 2013, we entered into a Credit Facility with four banks: Bank Hapoalim B.M. (also the lead - arranger and securities trustee), HSBC Bank Plc, Bank Leumi Le’Israel Ltd., and First International Bank Israel Ltd., pursuant to which we received $113.7 million of committed credit facilities consisting of up to $73.5 million in credit loans as well as up to $40.2 million for bank guarantees. The Credit Facility replaced all of the Company’s existing credit facilities, including the Bank Hapoalim Agreement, and other short term credit facilities with other banks.  Borrowings will bear floating interest at a base rate plus an applicable spread of up to 3% per annum. The credit facilities are secured by (1) a floating charge over all our assets and (2) floating and fixed charges over our bank accounts with the banks.  In the framework of the Credit Facility, we undertook certain financial and other standard covenants, including not to distribute dividends (unless certain terms are met) without the banks’ prior written consent pursuant to the agreement. In October 2013 and again in April 2014, we obtained the bank syndicate's consent for temporary less restrictive financial covenants. Most of the less restrictive financial covenants shall be in effect until October 1, 2014, except for one less restrictive financial covenant which shall remain in effect until March 31, 2015. After each date, the respective original covenants again apply. According to the April 2014 amendment, the available credit line shall be reduced by $5 million on January 1, 2015 and additional $5 million on April 1, 2015. In addition, if the Company does not meet the revised EBITDA covenant in the third quarter of 2014, the available credit line will be reduced further by an additional $5 million.
 
 
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On March 31, 2015 the Company signed an amendment to its agreement with the four banks to better align its Credit Facility terms to its current needs. The main changes consist of:
 
a. An increase in the allowed accounts receivable discounting activities of one of the Company’s main customers  by 34 million to an amount of up to $54 million;
 
b. A gradual reduction of the maximum amount of Credit Facility for loans from $63.5 million (starting April 1, 2015) to $50 million by February 28, 2016;
 
c. A gradual reduction in minimum cash covenant from $20 million to $15 million by October 1, 2015;
 
d. An extension of the Credit Facility repayment date to June 30, 2016 (from March, 14, 2016);
 
e. Changes in the equity related covenants definition to exclude goodwill and Intangible Assets from the calculation, as well as reduction of the minimum total shareholders’ equity value to $85 million and reduction of the minimum ratio of total shareholders’ equity to total assets ratio to 0.27; and
 
f. Other changes primarily increase in the maximum spread of interest chargeable to 3.5% and other bank fees
 
As of December 31, 2014, based on the previous covenants the Company was in breach of ratio of total shareholders’ equity to total assets. As part of the amendment to the existing Credit Facility, the banks also agreed to apply the new covenant new term retroactively. Therefore, subject to this recent amendment, as of December 31, 2014 the Company met all the covenants and expects to continue meeting the new covenants.
 
As of December 31, 2014, we sold trade receivables by factoring to several financial institutions in the total amount of $13.1 million. In accordance with our agreement with the bank syndicate we may sell trade receivables up to an amount of $20 million.
 
During the fourth quarter of 2012, we initiated a restructuring plan to improve our operating efficiency. The restructuring plan contributed to the reduction of the operating expenses by $15.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. The restructuring costs in 2012 amounted to $4.6 million. During the fourth quarter of 2013, we initiated a restructuring plan to reduce operational costs. The restructuring plan contributed to the reduction of the operating expenses by $25.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. The restructuring costs in 2013 amounted to $9.3 million. In December 2014, we announced a significant new restructuring of our operations to reduce our operational costs. The restructuring plan is intended to realign operations, reduce head count and undertake other cost reduction measures in order to lower our breakeven point and improve profitability. Once the restructuring and other cost reduction measures are completed, they are expected to result in annual savings of approximately $18 to $22 million. The restructuring plan includes consolidating or relocating certain offices and reducing staff functions and some operations positions, as well as other measures. In 2014, we incurred restructuring charges of $6.8 million primarily related to 2014 restructuring plan. In addition, we incurred a $4.4 million write-off of discontinued product inventory related to the restructuring plan in the fourth quarter of 2014 and we estimate additional costs will be approximately $1 to $2 million during the first half of 2015.
 
As of December 31, 2014, our debt from financial institutions amounted to $40.6 million excluding current maturities of long-term loan in the amount of $ 8.2 million.
 
As of December 31, 2014, we had approximately $42.4 million in cash and cash equivalents, short term bank deposits and short and long-term marketable securities out of which $2.5 million is located in Venezuela. This country is regulated for foreign currency exchange which impairs the availability of that cash outside of the country.
.
As of December 31, 2014, our cash investments were comprised of the following: 98% consisted of short-term, highly liquid investments with original maturities of up to three months, 1% consisted of short-term bank deposits and 1% of our liquid assets is invested in short government debt securities, respectively. Most of these investments are in U.S. dollars.
 
Net cash used in operating activities was $32.3 and $29.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively. Net cash provided by operating activities was $7.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2012.
 
 
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In 2014, our $32.3 million cash used in operating activities was affected by the following principal factors:

 
·
our net loss of 76.5 million; and

 
·
a $22.6 million increase in trade and other receivables, net;
 
These factors were offset by:

 
·
a $14.8 million impairment of goodwill;

 
·
a $13.5 million of depreciation and amortization expenses;

 
·
a $9.7 million increase in deferred revenues paid in advance;

 
·
a $8.9 million increase in trade payables and accrued expenses, net; and

 
·
a $9.8 million decrease in deferred tax asset;
 
In 2013, our $29.5 million cash used in operating activities was affected by the following principal factors:

 
·
our net loss of $47.5 million;

 
·
a $21.0 million decrease in trade payables, net of accrued expenses; and

 
·
a $8.8 million decrease in deferred revenues paid in advance;
 
These factors were offset by:

 
·
a $15.6 million of depreciation and amortization expenses
 
 
·
a $15.5 million decrease in trade receivables, net; and

 
·
a $3.6 million decrease in deferred tax asset;
 
In 2012, our $7.2 million cash provided by operating activities was affected by the following principal factors:

·      a $27.2 million decrease in inventories,

·      a $15.0 million in depreciation and amortization expenses; and

·      a $17.7 million increase in trade payables, net of accrued expenses;
 
These factors were offset by:

 
·
our net loss of $23.4 million;

 
·
a $9.5 million increase in trade receivables, net; and

 
·
a $21.6 million decrease in deferred revenues paid in advance.
 
 
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Net cash used in investing activities was approximately $7.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, as compared to net cash used in investing activities of approximately $23.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 and net cash provided by investing activities of approximately $1.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. In the year ended December 31, 2014, our purchase of property and equipment of $12.7 million were partially offset by proceeds from sales of marketable securities of $5.2 million.   In the year ended December 31, 2013, our investment in marketable securities of $7.9 million and purchase of property and equipment of $16.4 million, were offset partially by proceeds from sales of marketable securities of $0.5 million.  In the year ended December 31, 2012, our proceeds from maturity of short-term bank deposits of $7.9 million and sales of marketable securities of $9.8 million were offset partially by investment in short-term bank deposits of $1.3 million and purchase of property and equipment of $14.5 million.

Net cash provided by financing activities was approximately $38.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 as compared to net cash provided by financing activities of $49.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 and net cash provided by financing activities of $9.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. In the year ended December 31, 2014, our proceeds from issuance of shares, net of $45.1 million and proceeds from financial institutions of $22.7 million were partially offset by repayment of a bank loan of $29.0 million.  In the year ended December 31, 2013, our proceeds from exercises of share options of $1.1 million, proceeds from issuance of shares, net of $35.0 million and proceeds from financial institutions, net of $23.7 million, were offset partially by repayment of a bank loan of $10.2 million.  In the year ended December 31, 2012, our proceeds from exercises of share options of $0.7 million and proceeds from financial institutions, net of $27 million, were offset partially by repayment of a bank loan of $18.2 million.

As of December 31, 2014, our principal commitments consisted of $15.7 million for obligations outstanding under non-cancelable operating leases.

Our capital requirements are dependent on many factors, including working capital requirements to finance the growth of the Company, and the allocation of resources to our research and development efforts, as well as our marketing and sales activities. We anticipate continuing to engage in capital spending consistent with anticipated change in our business activities.
 
We believe that current cash and cash equivalent balances, short-term bank deposits and short-term marketable securities will be sufficient for our requirements through at least the next 12 months. According to our plans, we will have to extend the credit facility agreement, or to replace it with another financing arrangement in order to support the operations beyond June 30, 2016.

C.    Research and Development

We place considerable emphasis on research and development to improve and expand the capabilities of our existing products, to develop new products, with particular emphasis on equipment for emerging IP-based networks, and to lower the cost of producing both existing and future products. We intend to continue to devote a significant portion of our personnel and financial resources to research and development. As part of our product development process, we maintain close relationships with our customers to identify market needs and to define appropriate product specifications. In addition, we intend to continue to comply with industry standards and, in order to participate in the formulation of European standards, we are full members of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

Our research and development activities are conducted mainly at our facilities in Tel Aviv, Israel and also at our subsidiaries in Greece and Romania. As of December 31, 2014, our research, development and engineering staff consisted of 220 employees. Our research and development team includes highly specialized engineers and technicians with expertise in the fields of millimeter wave design, modem and signal processing, data communications, system management and networking solutions.

Our research and development department provides us with the ability to design and develop most of the aspects of our proprietary solutions, from the chip-level, including both ASICs and RFICs, to full system integration. Our research and development projects currently in process include extensions to our leading IP-based networking product lines and development of new technologies to support future product concepts. In addition, our engineers continually work to redesign our products with the goal of improving their manufacturability and testability while reducing costs.
 
 
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Our research and development expenses were approximately $35.0 million or 9.4% of revenues in 2014, $ 43.0 million or 11.9% of revenues in 2013 and $47.5 million or 10.6% of revenues in 2012.
  
Intellectual Property
 
See Item 4:  “HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPANY – INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY” for a description of our intellectual property.
 
D.    Trend Information
 
See discussion in Parts A and B of Item 5:”OPERATING RESULTS AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS” for a description of the trend information relevant to us.
 
E.     Off Balance Sheet Arrangements

We are not party to any material off-balance sheet arrangements. In addition, we have no unconsolidated special purpose financing or partnership entities that are likely to create material contingent liabilities.

F.     Tabular Disclosure of Contractual Obligations

 
 
Payments due by period (in thousands of dollars)
 
 
Contractual Obligations
 
 
Total
   
Less than 1
year
   
 
1-3 years
   
 
3-5 years
   
More than
5 years
 
Operating lease obligations1 
    15,663       5,594       9,531       538        
Purchase obligations2 
    32,228       32,228                        
Other long-term commitment3 
    5,732                               5,732  
Uncertain income tax positions4 
    4,622                               4,622  
Loan Agreement
    10,304       8,232       2,072                  
Total
    68,549       46,054       11,603       538       10,354  
____________
(1)       Consists of operating leases for our facilities and for vehicles.
 
(2)
Consists of all outstanding purchase orders for our products from our suppliers.
 
(3)
Our obligation for accrued severance pay under Israel’s Severance Pay Law as of December 31, 2014 was approximately $8.2 million, of which approximately $5.7 million was funded through deposits in severance pay funds, leaving a net commitment of approximately $2.5 million.  In addition, the commitment includes a net amount of approximately $3.2 million in pension accruals in other subsidiaries, mainly in Norway.
 
(4)
Uncertain income tax position under ASC 740-10, “Income Taxes,” are due upon settlement and we are unable to reasonably estimate the ultimate amount or timing of settlement. See Note 15j of our Consolidated Financial Statements for further information regarding the Company’s liability under ASC 740-10.
 
Effect of Recent Accounting Pronouncements

See Note 2, Significant Accounting Policies, in Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II of this Report, for a full description of recent accounting pronouncements, including the expected dates of adoption and estimated effects on financial condition and results of operations, which is incorporated herein by reference.
 
 
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ITEM 6.                      DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

Directors and Senior Management

The following table lists the name, age and position of each of our current directors and executive officers:
 
Name
 
Age
Position
Zohar Zisapel
66
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Ira Palti
57
President and Chief Executive Officer
Doron Arazi
51
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
John Earley
57
Executive Vice President, Delivery
Nurit Kruk-Zilca
41
Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Youval Reina
48
Executive Vice President, Global Products
Oz Zimerman
51
Executive Vice President, Global Marketing & Services
Flavio Perrucchetti
47
Regional President, Europe
Ram Prakash Tripathi
48
Regional President, APAC
Amit Ancikovsky
44
Regional President, Latin America & Africa
Charles Meyo
51
Regional President, North America
Joseph Atsmon
66
Director
Yael Langer
50
Director
Yair E. Orgler
75
Director
Avi Patir
66
Director
 
        Set forth below is a biographical summary of each of the above-named directors and executive officers.
 
Zohar Zisapel has served as the Chairman of our board of directors since we were incorporated in 1996.  Mr. Zisapel is also a founder and a director of RAD Data Communications Ltd., of which he served as CEO from January 1982 until January 1998 and served as chairman from 1998 until 2012.  Mr. Zisapel also serves as chairman of RADCOM Ltd., as a director of Silicom Ltd., Amdocs Limited and as chairman or director of several private companies.  Mr. Zisapel received a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in electrical engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology (“Technion”) and an M.B.A. from Tel Aviv University.
 
Ira Palti has been our President and Chief Executive Officer since August 2005. From January 2003 to August 2005, Mr. Palti was Chief Executive Officer of Seabridge Ltd., a Siemens company that is a global leader in the area of broadband services and networks. Prior to joining Seabridge, he was the Chief Operating Officer of VocalTec Communications Ltd., responsible for sales, marketing, customer support and product development. Among the positions he held before joining VocalTec was founder of Rosh Intelligent Systems, a company providing software maintenance and AI diagnostic solutions and one of the first startups in Israel. Mr. Palti received a B.Sc. in mathematics and computer science (magna cum laude) from Tel Aviv University.
 
Doron Arazi served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2014. He joined Ceragon as CFO after a long, successful career with Amdocs where he managed the business relationship with a US tier 1 mobile operator and was responsible for hundreds of employees.  Prior to Amdocs, Doron looked after the financial and growth activities of other high-tech companies in the telecommunications sector, including serving as CFO of Allot Communications and VP of Finance at Verint. Mr. Arazi is a CPA and holds a B.A. degree in Economics and Accounting as well as an MBA degree focusing on Finance and Insurance.
 
John Earley has been our Executive Vice President, Delivery since April 2014.  Prior to this appointment, Mr. Earley joined Ceragon in March 2011 as our Regional President, Africa.  From March 2010 to 2011, Mr. Earley served as Regional Head of Services, Africa for Nokia Siemens Network based in South Africa.  From November 2007 to 2010 Mr. Earley served as Chief Technical Officer for Celtel (later Zain) Nigeria and subsequently Head of Business Transformation for Zain Networks, Nairobi. Mr. Zyss received B.Sc. in electrical engineering from Cleveland Institute of Technology.
 
 
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Nurit Kruk-Zilca has served as our Executive Vice President, Human Resources since April 2014.  From July 2005 until March 2014, Ms. Kruk-Zilca served in various positions in our human resources department, the last one as VP Global HR, responsible for all human resources business partners.  From 2000 until December 2005, she was a talent acquisition and sourcing specialist for Intel Israel. Ms. Kruk-Zilca received a B.A. in Leadership & Education and an M.A. in Organizational Sociology from Tel Aviv University.
 
Youval Reina served as Executive Vice President Global Products since 2015. He joined Ceragon in 2015, and serves the company as EVP Global Products responsible for the conception, creation and delivery of leading-edge wireless backhaul solutions. With more than 25 years in management of large-scale, multidisciplinary projects and sizeable R&D organizations, Mr. Reina brings a wide breadth of experience along with a sharp focus on innovation and product delivery. Mr. Reina holds a B.Sc. (cum laude) in Electrical Engineering and a M.Sc. (summa cum laude) in Management from Ben-Gurion University.
 
Oz Zimerman served as Executive Vice President Global Marketing and Services since 2014.  He joined Ceragon in March 2013 as Corporate Vice President Marketing and Services. From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Zimerman was Corporate VP Marketing and Business Development at DSP Group, responsible for the company's overall marketing, M&A and support of its worldwide expansion. Before joining DSP Group, Mr. Zimerman served as VP Marketing at Comverse from 2006 to 2008, where he led global positioning and developed partnerships. From 1998 to 2006, he served as VP Marketing and Global Channels at ECI Telecom. Preceding ECI, he was Engagement Manager at Shaldor, a leading management consulting firm from 1992 until 2007. Mr. Zimerman holds a BSc in Industrial Engineering & Management from Polytechnic University (summa cum laude) and a Master’s degree in Business Administration & Industrial Engineering from Columbia University.
 
Flavio Perrucchetti serves as our Regional President, Europe. Mr. Perrucchetti joined Ceragon in August 2011 from SIAE Microelettronica, where he was the Head of Sales & Marketing for Europe from 2007.  Prior to that, he was engaged for more than 20 years in sales and marketing activities and management in the telecommunications market, and served as the Head of Sales for Europe & Key Accounts Manager for Italy for a major telecom service provider, and Head of International Sales & Marketing for a major microwave manufacturer where he had responsibility for Latin America, the Far East and Northern Europe. Mr. Perrucchetti holds a Masters Degree in Biology and did graduate study in Environmental Chemistry at the Università degli Studi di Milano.
 
Ram Prakash Tripathi serves as our Regional President, APAC. Mr. Tripathi joined Ceragon in September 2002. Prior to joining Ceragon, Mr. Tripathi held senior managerial positions at several companies including Stratex and Reliance, and has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Mr. Tripathi holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics & Communication from the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar University, in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.
 
Amit Ancikovsky serves as our Regional President, Latin America and Africa. Mr. Ancikovsky joined Ceragon in 2013. Prior to joining to Ceragon, Mr. Ancikovsky held a number of management positions at Airspan Networks Inc., including President of Sales & Products. Before that, Mr. Ancikovsky served as the Chief Financial Officer and Head of Business Development for Gilat Networks Latin America, a world leader in VSAT technologies. Mr. Ancikovsky holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics and a Law degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
 
Charles (Chuck) Meyo serves as our Regional President, North America. Mr. Meyo joined Ceragon in May 2012. Prior to joining Ceragon, Mr. Meyo served as Vice President of Global Channels and Americas Sales at Narus, Inc. and thereafter worked within the Boeing Defense, Space and Security division (following the acquisition of Narus, Inc. by the Boeing Company in 2011). Prior to that, Mr. Meyo was the Sales Vice President of the IBM Global Accounts and Alliances organization at Avaya and held a variety of successful sales and management roles at Lucent Technologies and AT&T. Mr. Meyo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Sciences from the The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
 
 
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Joseph Atsmon has served as a director since July 2001. Mr. Atsmon has also served as a director of Nice Systems Ltd. since September 2001 and served as a director of RADVision Ltd. from June 2003 until June 2012. From November 2005 until December 2008, Mr. Atsmon was a director of VocalTec Communications Ltd. From April 2001 until October 2002, he served as Chairman of Discretix Ltd.  From 1995 until 2000, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Teledata Communications Ltd., a public company acquired by ADC Telecommunications Inc. in 1998.  From 1986 until 1995, Mr. Atsmon served in various positions at Tadiran Ltd., among them a division president and Corporate Vice President for business development.  Mr. Atsmon received a B.Sc. in electrical engineering (summa cum laude) from the Technion.  Mr. Atsmon is one of our independent directors for the purposes of the Nasdaq Rules and is our audit committee chairman and financial expert.
 
Yael Langer has served as a director since December 2000.  Ms. Langer served as our general counsel from July 1998 until December 2000.  Ms. Langer is General Counsel and Secretary of RAD Data Communications Ltd. and other companies in the RAD-BYNET group.  Since July 2009, Ms. Langer serves as a director in RADWARE Ltd. From December 1995 to July 1998, Ms. Langer served as Assistant General Counsel to companies in the RAD-BYNET group.  From September 1993 until July 1995, Ms. Langer was a member of the legal department of Poalim Capital Markets and Investments Ltd. Ms. Langer received an LL.B. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
 
Yair E. Orgler has served as an external director since March 2007. Prof. Orgler is Professor Emeritus at the Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration, Tel Aviv University (the “Recanati School”). From 1996 to June 2006, Prof. Orgler was Chairman of the Board of the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange. From 2001 to 2004, he was President of the International Options Markets Association (IOMA). Prof. Orgler serves as a director at Israel Chemicals Ltd., Atidim-High Tech Industrial Park Ltd. and Gazit-Globe Ltd. Other public positions held by Prof. Orgler in recent years include: Director at Bank Hapoalim, B.M., Director at Discount Investment Corporation Ltd., Founder and Chairman of “Maalot”, Israel’s first securities rating company; Chairman of the Wage Committee of the Association of University Heads in Israel; Chairman of the Executive Council of the Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo; and member of the Board of the United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF). Previous academic positions held by Prof. Orgler include: Vice Rector of Tel-Aviv University and before that Dean of the Recanati School. For over 20 years he was the incumbent of the Goldreich Chair in International Banking at Tel-Aviv University and served frequently as a Visiting Professor of Finance at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. Prof. Orgler holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.Sc. in industrial engineering from University of Southern California and a B.Sc. in industrial engineering from the Technion. Prof. Orgler is one of our independent directors for the purposes of the Nasdaq Rules and one of our external directors for purposes of the Companies Law.
 
Avi Patir has served as an external director since March 2007. Mr. Patir CEO of a privately owned consulting company (Patir Consultants).  From 2007 to 2013 he served as Senior Vice President and CTO at Hot Mobile Ltd. (previously MIRS Communications Ltd.), a wholly-owned subsidiary of HOT Telecommunication.  From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Patir served as the Group COO and Head of the Wireline Division of “Bezeq” – The Israel Telecommunication Corp. Limited (“Bezeq”), Israel’s national telecommunications provider. From 2003 to 2004, Mr. Patir was President and CEO of American Israel Paper Mills Ltd., the leading Israeli manufacturer and marketer of paper and paper products. From 1996 to 2003, he was the President and CEO of Barak International Telecommunication Corporation Ltd., a leading provider of international telecommunications services in Israel, and from 1992 to 1996, he was Executive Vice President Engineering and Operations at Bezeq. Mr. Patir has been a board member of, among others, Bezeq International, Pelephone Communications Ltd. and Satlink Communications Ltd.  Mr. Patir holds an M.Sc. in electrical and electronic engineering from Columbia University and a B.Sc. in electrical and electronic engineering from the Technion. He is, in addition, a graduate of the Kellogg-Recanati executive management program. Mr. Patir is one of our independent directors for the purposes of the Nasdaq Rules and one of our external directors for purposes of the Companies Law.
 
B.  
Compensation
 
 
a)
Aggregate Executive Compensation
 
During 2014, the aggregate compensation paid by us or accrued on behalf of all persons listed in Section A above (Directors and Senior Management), and other executives who left the Company, consisted of approximately $4.2 million in salary, fees, bonus, commissions and directors' fees and approximately $0.3 million in amounts set aside or accrued to provide pension, retirement or similar benefits, but excluding amounts we expended for automobiles made available to our officers, expenses (including business travel, professional and business association dues and expenses) reimbursed to our officers and other fringe benefits commonly reimbursed or paid by companies in Israel.
 
During 2014, we granted to our directors and executive officers, in the aggregate, options to purchase 437,000 ordinary shares and 37,000 restricted share units (RSUs) under our Amended and Restated Share Option and RSU Plan. The exercise price of the options range from $1.08 to $3.14 per share, while the RSUs are granted at par value of the ordinary shares. Share options will expire 10 years after the date of grant.
 
Other than payment of fees to our independent directors as required by the Companies Law, reimbursement for expenses and the award of stock options, we do not compensate our directors for serving on our board of directors; We currently pay each of our independent directors an annual fee of 52,700 NIS (equivalent to approximately $13,500) and a meeting attendance fee of NIS 930-1,860 (equivalent to approximately $240 - 475), including for meetings of committees of the Board of Directors. These cash amounts are subject to adjustment for changes in the Israeli consumer price index. For more information, please see “Remuneration of Directors” and “The Share Option Plan” below and Note 14 to our consolidated financial statements included as Item 18 in this annual report.
 
 
 
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b)
Individual Compensation of Covered Executives
 
The following information describes the compensation of our five most highly compensated officer holders with respect to the year ended December 31, 2014. The five individuals for whom disclosure is provided are referred to herein as “Covered Executives.” All amounts specified below are in terms of cost to the Company, as recorded in our financial statements, and are based on the following components:
 
·  
Salary Costs. Salary Costs include gross salary, benefits and perquisites, including those mandated by applicable law which may include, to the extent applicable to each Covered Executive, payments, contributions and/or allocations for pension, severance, vacation, travel and accommodation, car or car allowance, medical insurances and risk insurances (e.g., life, disability, accidents), phone, convalescence pay, relocation, payments for social security, and other benefits consistent with the Company's guidelines.
 
·  
Bonus Costs. Bonus Costs represent bonuses granted to the Covered Executive’s with respect to the year ended December 31, 2014, paid in accordance with the Covered executive's performance of targets as set forth in his bonus plan, and approved by the Company's compensation committee and board of directors.
 
·  
Equity Costs. Represents the expense recorded in our financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2014, with respect to equity-based compensation granted in 2014 and in previous years. For assumptions and key variables used in the calculation of such amounts see note 14c of our audited consolidated financial statements.
 
 
(1)
Charles (Chuck) Meyo – Regional President North America. Salary Costs - $306,733; Bonus Costs - $528,000; Equity Costs - $56,379.
 
 
(2)
Ira Palti – CEO. Salary Costs - $312,205; Bonus Costs - $0; Equity Costs - $408,119.
 
 
(3)
Trevor Gordon – Regional President Africa*. Salary Costs - $280,804; Bonus Costs - $201,513; Equity Costs - $31,073.
 
 
(4)
Thomas Knudsson – Regional President Europe*. Salary Costs - $284,220; Bonus Costs - $48,511; Equity Costs - $40,920.
 
 
(5)
Amit Ancikovsky – Regional President Latin America & Africa. Salary Costs - $288,444; Bonus Costs - $37,771; Equity Costs - $41,893.
 
*Terminated their service with the Company at the end of 2014.            
 
C.  
Board Practices
 
Corporate Governance Practices

We are incorporated in Israeli and therefore are subject to various corporate governance practices under the Israeli Companies Law, relating to such matters such as external directors, audit committee (hereinafter referred to as “corporate audit committee”), internal auditor and approvals of interested parties transactions. These matters are in addition to the ongoing listing conditions of the NASDAQ and other relevant provisions of U.S. securities laws. Under applicable Nasdaq Rules, a foreign private issuer may generally follow its home country rules of corporate governance in lieu of comparable Nasdaq Rules, except for certain matters such as composition and responsibilities of the audit committee and the independence of its members. For further information see Item 16G: “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE,” below.
 
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General Board Practices

Our board of directors presently consists of five members, the minimum number authorized by our Articles of Association. The board retains all the powers in running our Company that are not specifically granted to the shareholders; for example, the board may make decisions to borrow money for our Company, and may set aside reserves out of our profits, for whatever purposes it thinks fit.

The board may pass a resolution when a quorum is present, and by a vote of at least a majority of the directors present when the resolution is put to vote.  A quorum is defined as at least a majority of the directors then in office who are lawfully entitled to participate in the meeting but not less than two directors. The Chairman of the board is elected and removed by the board members. Minutes of the board meetings are recorded and kept at our offices.

The Board may, subject to the provisions of the Israeli Companies Law, appoint a committee of the Board and delegate to such committee all or any of the powers of the Board, as it deems appropriate. Notwithstanding the foregoing and subject to the provisions of the Israeli Companies Law, the Board may, at any time, amend, restate or cancel the delegation of any of its powers to any of its committees. The Board has appointed a corporate audit committee under the Israeli Companies Law that has three members, a financial audit committee that has three members and a compensation committee that has three members.

Terms and Skills of Directors

The Nasdaq Rules require that director nominees be selected or recommended for the board’s selection either by a nominations committee composed solely of independent directors or by a majority of independent directors, in a vote in which only independent directors participate, subject to certain exceptions.

Our directors, other than external directors, are elected at the annual general meeting of shareholders for a term ending on the date of the third annual general meeting following the general meeting at which they were elected, unless earlier terminated in the event of such director’s death, resignation, bankruptcy, incapacity or removal. Following the amendment of our Articles of Association in December 2012, which included cancellation of the previous division into two classes of directors, and alignment of the appointment dates of our board members, so that members of the board who were appointed in any annual general meeting following the 2012 annual general meeting and prior to the 2015 annual general meeting, were appointed for a term ending on the 2015 annual general meeting. Beginning with the 2015 annual general meeting, all directors (other than external directors) shall be appointed together on the same annual general meeting, for a term of three years.

According to the Companies Law, a person who does not possess the skills required and the ability to devote the appropriate time to the performance of the office of director in a company, taking into consideration, among other things, the special requirements and size of that company, shall neither be appointed as director nor shall serve as director in a public company. A public company shall not summon a general meeting whose agenda includes the appointment of a director, and a director shall not be appointed, unless the candidate has submitted a declaration that he or she possesses the skills required and the ability to devote the appropriate time to the performance of the office of director in the company, that sets forth the aforementioned skills and further states that the limitations set forth in the Companies Law regarding the appointment of a director do not apply in respect of such candidate.

A director who ceases to possess any qualification required under the Companies Law for holding the office of director or who becomes subject to any ground for termination of his/her office must inform the company immediately and his/her office shall terminate on such notice.

Independent Directors

Under the Nasdaq Rules, a majority of our directors is required to be independent. The independence standard under the Nasdaq Rules excludes, among others, any person who is a current or former (at any time during the past three years) employee of a company or its affiliates as well as the immediate family members of an executive officer (at any time during the past three years) of a company or its affiliates. Messrs. Joseph Atsmon, Yair Orgler and Avi Patir currently serve as our independent directors.
 
 
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External Directors

Under the Companies Law, we are required to appoint at least two external directors. Each committee of a company’s board of directors which is authorized to exercise the board of directors’ authorities is required to include at least one external director, except for the audit and compensation committees, which are required to include all of the external directors.

Qualification.  To qualify as an external director, an individual or his or her relative, partner, employer, any person to whom such person is directly or indirectly subject to, or any entity under his or her control may not have, as of the date of appointment, or may not have had, during the previous two years, any affiliation with the company, any entity controlling the company on the date of the appointment or with any entity controlled, at the date of the appointment or during the previous two years, by the company or by its controlling shareholder and in a company that does not have a 25% shareholder, such person may not have any affiliation with any person who, at the time of appointment, is the chairman, the chief executive officer, the chief financial officer or a 5% shareholder of the company. In general, the term “affiliation” includes:

•      an employment relationship;

•      a business or professional relationship maintained on a regular basis;

•      control; and

 
service as an office holder; the Companies Law defines the term “office holder” of a company to include a director, the chief executive officer, the chief business manager, a vice general manager, deputy general manager and any officer that reports directly to the chief executive officer or any other person fulfilling any of the foregoing positions (even if such person’s title is different).
 
“Control” is defined in the Securities Law as the ability to direct the actions of a company but excluding a power that is solely derived from a position as a director of the company or any other position with the company; a person who is holding 50% or more of the “controlling power” in the company – voting rights or the right to appoint a director or a general manager – is automatically considered to possess control.

In addition, no person can serve as an external director if the person’s position or other activities creates, or may create, a conflict of interests with the person’s responsibilities as an external director or may otherwise interfere with the person’s ability to serve as an external director. Until the lapse of two years from termination of office, a company or its controlling shareholder may not give any direct or indirect benefit to the former external director.

Election and Term of External Directors.  External directors are elected by a majority vote at a shareholders’ meeting, provided that either:

 
majority of the shares voted at the meeting, which are not held by controlling shareholders or shareholders with personal interest in approving the appointment (excluding personal interest not resulting from contacts with the controlling shareholder), not taking into account any abstentions, vote in favor of the election; or

 
the total number of shares referred to above, voted against the election of the external director, does not exceed two percent of the aggregate voting rights in the company.

In a company in which, at the date of appointment of an external director, all the directors are of the same gender, the external director to be appointed shall be of the other gender.

An external director can be removed from office only by the same majority of shareholders that is required to elect an external director, or by a court, if the external director ceases to meet the statutory qualifications with respect to his or her appointment, or if he or she violates his or her duty of loyalty to the company. The court may also remove an external director from office if he or she is unable to perform his or her duties on a regular basis.
 
 
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Each of our external directors serves a three-year term, and may be re-elected to serve in this capacity for two additional terms of three years each, provided that the external director is not a related or competing shareholder or a relative of such shareholder, at the time of the appointment, and does not and did not have any affiliation with a related or competing shareholder, at the time of the appointment or within the two years preceding the appointment. A ‘related or competing shareholder’ is a shareholder proposing the reappointment or a shareholder holding 5% or more of the outstanding shares or voting rights of the company, if at the time of the appointment, such shareholder, a controlling shareholder thereof or a company controlled by such shareholder or by a controlling shareholder thereof, have business relationships with the Company or are competitors of the Company. Thereafter, he or she may be reelected by our shareholders for additional periods of up to three years each only if the corporate audit committee, followed by the board, have approved that considering the expertise and special contribution of the external director to the work of the board and its committees, the appointment for a further term of service is beneficial to the Company.

Reelection of an external director may be effected through one of the following mechanisms: (1) the board of directors proposed the reelection of the nominee and the election was approved by the shareholders by the majority required to appoint external directors for their initial term; or (2) a shareholder holding one percent or more of a company's voting rights or the external director proposed the reelection of the nominee, and the reelection is approved by a majority of the votes cast by the shareholders of the Company, excluding the votes of controlling shareholders and those who have a personal interest in the matter as a result of their relations with the controlling shareholders, provided that the aggregate votes cast in favor of the reelection by such non-excluded shareholders constitute more than two percent of the voting rights in the Company.
 
Financial and Accounting Expertise. Pursuant to the Companies Law and regulations promulgated thereunder, (1) each external director must have either “accounting and financial expertise” or “professional qualifications and (2) at least one of the external directors must “accounting and financial expertise.”  A director with “accounting and financial expertise” is a director whose education, experience and skills qualifies him or her to be highly proficient in understanding business and accounting matters and to thoroughly understand the Company’s financial statements and to stimulate discussion regarding the manner in which financial data is presented. A director with “professional qualifications”  is a person that meets any of the following criteria: (i) has an academic degree in economics, business management, accounting, law, public administration; (ii) has a different academic degree or has completed higher education in an area relevant to the Company’s business or which is relevant to his or her position; or (iii) has at least five years’ experience in any of the following, or has a total of five years’ experience in at least two of the following: (A) a senior position in the business management of a corporation with substantial business activities, (B) a senior public position or a senior position in the public service, or (C) a senior position in the Company’s main fields of business.
 
Compensation. An external director is entitled to compensation as provided in regulations adopted under the Israeli Companies Law and is otherwise prohibited from receiving any other compensation, directly or indirectly, from the Company. For more information, please see “Remuneration of Directors” below.
 
Our External Directors. Yair Orgler and Avi Patir were initially appointed in 2006 as our external directors. Their terms began in March 2007 and in December 2009 and again in December 2012, at the respective annual meeting of shareholders, Messrs. Orgler and Patir were appointed for a second and third terms as external directors.  Their third terms will expire in March 2016.  Our board of directors has determined that Prof. Orgler has the “accounting and financial expertise” and that Mr. Patir has the “professional qualifications required by the Companies Law.”
 
Remuneration of Directors

Directors’ remuneration should be consistent with our compensation policy for office holders (see below) and requires the approval of the compensation committee, the board of directors and the shareholders (in that order).
 
 
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Notwithstanding the above, under special circumstances, the compensation committee and the board of directors may approve an arrangement that deviates from the Company's compensation policy, provided that such arrangement is approved by a special majority of the Company’s shareholders, including (i) at least a majority of the shareholders who are not controlling shareholders and who do not have a personal interest in the matter, present and voting (abstentions are disregarded), or (ii) the non-controlling shareholders and shareholders who do not have a personal interest in the matter who were present and voted against the matter hold two percent or less of the voting power of the Company.
 
In addition, according to regulations promulgated under the Companies Law with respect to the remuneration of external directors (the “Remuneration Regulations”), the compensation committee and shareholder’s approval may be waived if the remuneration to be paid to the external directors is between the fixed and maximum amounts set forth in the Remuneration Regulations; According to these regulations, external directors are generally entitled to an annual fee, a participation fee for each meeting of the board of directors or any committee of the board on which he or she serves as a member and reimbursement of travel expenses for participation in a meeting which is held outside of the external director’s place of residence. The minimum, fixed and maximum amounts of the annual and participation fees are set forth in the Remuneration Regulations, based on the classification of the Company according to the amount of its capital. According to the Remuneration Regulations, the compensation committee and shareholder’s approval may be waived if the annual and participation fees to be paid to the external directors are within the range of the fixed annual fee or the fixed participation fee and the maximum annual fee or the maximum participation fee for the Company’s level, respectively.  However, remuneration of an external director in an amount which is less than the fixed annual fee or the fixed participation fee, respectively, requires the approval of the compensation committee, the board of directors and the shareholders (in that order). The remuneration of external directors must be made known to the candidate for such office prior to his/her appointment and, subject to certain exceptions, will not be amended throughout the three-year period during which he or she is in office. A company may compensate an external director in shares or rights to purchase shares, other than convertible debentures which may be converted into shares, in addition to the annual remuneration, the participation award and the reimbursement of expenses, subject to certain limitations set forth in the Remuneration Regulations. We pay our external directors and, in accordance with Amendment 20 to the Companies Law (see under “COMMITTEES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS” – “COMPENSATION COMMITTEE” below), to Mr. Atsmon, a member of the compensation committee, a fixed annual fee, a fixed participation fee and reimbursement of expenses. In addition, we have granted our external directors and Mr. Atsmon options to purchase the Company’s shares.
 
Additionally, according to other regulations promulgated under the Companies Law with respect  to relief in approval of certain related party transactions (the “Relief Regulations”), shareholders’ approval for directors’ compensation and employment arrangements is not required if both the compensation committee and the board of directors resolve that either (i) the directors’ compensation and employment arrangements are solely for the benefit of the Company or (ii) the remuneration to be paid to any such director does not exceed the maximum amounts set forth in the Remuneration Regulations; provided however that no holder of 1% or more of the issued and outstanding share capital or voting rights in the Company objects to such exemption from shareholders’ approval requirement such objection to be submitted to the Company in writing not later than fourteen days from the date the Company notifies its shareholders regarding the adoption of such resolution by the Company. If such objection is duly and timely submitted, then the remuneration arrangement of the directors will require shareholders’ approval as detailed above.
 
Neither we nor any of our subsidiaries has entered into a service contract with any of our current directors that provide for benefits upon termination of their service as directors.

Committees of the Board of Directors

Financial Audit Committee
 
In accordance with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Exchange Act and under Nasdaq Rules, we are required to have an audit committee consisting of at least three directors, each of whom is (i) independent; (ii) does not receive any compensation from the Company (other than directors' fees); (iii) is not an affiliated person of the Company or any of its subsidiaries; (iv) has not participated in the preparation of the Company's (or  subsidiary's) financial statements during the past three years; and (v) financially literate and one of whom has been determined by the board to be the audit committee financial expert. Currently, Messrs. Joseph Atsmon, Yair Orgler and Avi Patir serve on our financial audit committee, each of whom has been determined by the board to meet the NASDAQ standards described above. Mr. Atsmon is the chairman of our financial audit committee and its financial expert (see also Item 16A: “AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT,” below).
 
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We have adopted a financial audit committee charter as required by the Nasdaq Rules. The duties and responsibilities of the financial audit committee include: (i) recommending the appointment of the Company's independent auditor to the board of directors, determining his compensation and oversee the work performed by him;(ii) pre-approving all services of the independent auditor; (iii) overseeing our accounting and financial reporting processes and the audits of our financial statements; and (iv) handling complaints relating to accounting, internal controls and auditing matters.

Corporate Audit Committee

Under the Israeli Companies Law, the board of directors of any Israeli company whose shares are publicly traded must appoint an audit committee, comprised of at least three directors including all of the external directors.  In addition, the majority of the members must meet certain independence criteria and may not include: (i) the chairman of the board; (ii) any controlling shareholder or any relative thereof; (iii) any director employed by or providing services on a regular basis to, the Company, a controlling shareholder or a company owned by a controlling shareholder; or (iv) any director whose main income is provided by a controlling shareholder.  The chairman of such audit committee must be an external director. Messrs. Yair Orgler and Avi Patir serve as our two external directors. Both, as well as Mr. Joseph Atsmon, meet the independence criteria defined in the Companies Law. Mr. Orgler is the chairman of our corporate audit committee.

The duties and responsibilities of our corporate audit committee include (i) identification of irregularities and deficiencies in the management of our business, in consultation with the internal auditor and our independent auditor, and suggesting appropriate courses of action to amend such irregularities; (ii) review and approval of certain transactions and actions of the Company, including the approval of related party transactions that require approval by audit committee under the Companies Law; defining whether certain acts and transactions that involve conflict of interests are material or not and whether transactions that involve interested parties are extraordinary or not, and to approve such transactions; (iii)  recommend the appointment of the internal auditor and its compensation to the board of directors; (iv) examine the performance of our internal auditor and whether he is provided with the required resources and tools necessary for him to fulfill his role, considering, among others, the Company's size and special needs;  (v) set procedures for handling complaints made by the Company's employees in connection with management deficiencies and the protection to be provided to such employees; and (vi) perform such other duties that are or will be designated solely to audit committee in accordance with the Companies Law and the Company's Articles of Association.

Those who are not entitled to be members, shall not attend corporate audit committee's meetings or take part in its decisions, unless the chairman of the corporate audit committee has determined that such person is required for the presentation of a certain matter.  Nevertheless an employee who is not a controlling shareholder or a relative thereof, may be present at the discussion, pursuant to the Committee's request, but not in the decision taking, and the legal counsel and secretary, not being controlling shareholders or relatives thereof, may be present during the discussion and decision making – pursuant to the Committee's request.

The quorum for discussions and decisions shall be the majority of the members, provided that the majority of the present members meet the independence criteria set forth in the Companies Law, and at least one of them is an external director.

Compensation Committee
 
General. According to Amendment 20 to the Israeli Companies Law entered into effect in December 2012 (“Amendment 20”), the board of directors of any Israeli company whose shares are publicly traded, must appoint a compensation committee, comprised of at least three directors, including all of the external directors which shall be the majority of its members and one thereof must serve as the chairman of the committee. The remaining members of the Committee must satisfy the criteria for remuneration applicable to the external directors and qualified to serve as members of the audit committee pursuant to Companies Law requirements (Corporate Audit Committee), as described above. Shortly after Amendment 20 came into effect, we appointed a new compensation committee that includes our two external directors, Messrs. Yair Orgler and Avi Patir, and Mr. Joseph Atsmon; at the annual general meeting of shareholders held in September 2013, and our shareholders approved the payment of fees in cash to Mr. Atsmon, similar to the payment received by our external directors, in order to qualify him as a compensation committee member under Amendment 20. Mr. Patir is the Chairman of our Compensation Committee.
 
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The compensation committee is responsible for: (i) making recommendations to the board of directors with respect to the approval of the compensation policy (see below) and any extensions thereto; (ii) periodically reviewing the implementation of the compensation policy and providing the board of directors with recommendations with respect to any amendments or updates thereto; (iii) reviewing and resolving whether or not to approve arrangements with respect to the terms of office and employment of office holders; and (iv) determining whether or not to exempt a transaction with a candidate for chief executive officer from shareholder approval.
 
In addition, our compensation committee administers our Amended and Restated Share Option and RSU Plan. The Board has delegated to the compensation committee the authority to grant options and RSUs this plan and to act as the share incentive committee pursuant to this plan, provided that such grants are within the framework determined by the Board, and that the grant of equity compensation to our office holders also require Board's approval.
 
The attendance and participation in the meetings of the compensation committee is limited, similarly to the limitations on attendance and participation in meetings of the corporate audit committee.

The quorum for discussions and decisions shall be the majority of the members, provided that the majority of the present members are independent directors and at least one of them is an external director.
 
Under Nasdaq Rules, the compensation payable to our executive officers must be determined or recommended to the board for determination either by a majority of the independent directors on the board, in a vote in which only independent directors participate, or by a compensation committee comprised solely of independent directors, subject to certain exceptions. We follow the provisions of the Israeli Companies Law with respect to matters in connection with the composition and responsibilities of our compensation committee, office holder compensation, and any required approval by the shareholders of such compensation. As stated above, Israeli law does not require that a compensation committee composed solely of independent members of our board of directors determine (or recommend to the board of directors for determination) an executive officer’s compensation; nor do they require that the Company adopt and file a compensation committee charter. Instead, our board of directors has determined that out compensation committee conduct itself in accordance with provisions governing the composition of and the responsibilities of a compensation committee as set forth in the Israeli Companies Law (see also under Item 16G: “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE,” below).
 
Approval of Office Holders Terms of Employment
 
The terms of office and employment of office holders (other than directors and the chief executive officer) require the approval of the compensation committee and then of the board of directors, provided such terms are in accordance with the Company's compensation policy. If terms of employment of such officer are not in accordance with the compensation policy then shareholder approval is also required. However, in special circumstances the compensation committee and then the board of directors may nonetheless approve such compensation even if such compensation was not approved by the shareholders, following a further discussion and for detailed reasoning.
 
The terms of office and employment of the chief executive officer, regardless of whether such terms conform to the Company's compensation policy, must be approved by the compensation committee, the board of directors and  then by the shareholders, by a special majority of either (i) at least a majority of the shareholders who are not controlling shareholders and who do not have a personal interest in the matter, present and voting (abstentions are disregarded), or (ii) the non-controlling shareholders and shareholders who do not have a personal interest in the matter who were present and voted against the matter hold two percent or less of the voting power of the Company.
 
 
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Notwithstanding the above, in special circumstances the compensation committee and then the board of directors may nonetheless approve compensation for the chief executive officer, even if such compensation was not approved by the shareholders, following a further discussion and for detailed reasoning.

In addition, amendment of existing terms of office and employment of office holders who are not directors requires the approval of the Compensation Committee only, if the Compensation Committee determines that the amendment is not material.

The terms of office and employment of our directors, regardless of whether such terms conform to the Company's compensation policy, must be approved by the compensation committee, the board of directors and then by the shareholders, but, in case that such terms are inconsistent with the company's compensation policy, such shareholders' approval must be obtained by the special majority detailed above.

Compensation Policy

As required by Amendment 20, our shareholders, following the approval of the board of directors and the recommendations of the compensation committee, approved and adopted a compensation policy on September 12, 2013, which sets forth the Company’s policy regarding the terms of office and employment of office holders, including compensation, equity awards, severance and other benefits, exemption from liability and indemnification, and which takes into account, among other things, providing proper incentives to directors and officers, management of risks by the Company, the officer’s contribution to achieving corporate objectives and increasing profits, and the function of the officer or director.  The Policy provides our Compensation Committee and our Board of Directors with adequate measures and flexibility to tailor each of our office holder’s compensation package based, among other matters, on geography, tasks, role, seniority and capability. Moreover, the Policy is intended to motivate our office holders to achieve ongoing targeted results in addition to a high level business performance in the long term, all, without encouraging excessive risk taking.

Approval of Certain Transactions with Related Party

The Companies Law requires the approval of the corporate audit committee or the compensation committee, thereafter, the approval of the board of directors and in certain cases — the approval of the shareholders, in order to effect specified actions and extraordinary transactions such as the following:

 
·
transactions with office holders and third parties  where an office holder has a personal interest in the transaction;

 
·
employment terms of office holders who are not directors, and employment terms of directors (and terms of engagement with a director in other roles); and

 
·
extraordinary transactions with controlling parties, and extraordinary transactions with a third party - where a controlling party has a personal interest in the transaction, or any transaction with the controlling shareholder or his relative regarding terms of service provided directly or indirectly (including through a company controlled by the controlling shareholder) and terms of employment (for a controlling shareholder who is not an office holder). A “relative” is defined in the Companies Law as spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, descendant, spouse’s descendant, sibling or parent and the spouse of any of the foregoing.

Such extraordinary transactions with controlling shareholders require the approval of the corporate audit committee or the compensation committee, the board of directors and the majority of the voting power of the shareholders present and voting at the general meeting of the company (not including abstentions), provided that either:

 
·
the majority of the shares of shareholders who have no personal interest in the transaction and who are present and voting, vote in favor; or
 
 
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·
shareholders who have no personal interest in the transaction who vote against the transaction do not represent more than two percent of the aggregate voting rights in the company.

Any shareholder participating in the vote on approval of an extraordinary transaction with a controlling shareholder must inform the company prior to the voting whether or not he or she has a personal interest in the approval of the transaction, and if he or she fails to do so, his or her vote will be disregarded.

Further, transactions with a controlling shareholder or his relative concerning terms of service or employment need to be re-approved once every three years.

In accordance with regulations promulgated under the Companies Law, certain defined types of extraordinary transactions between a public company and its controlling shareholder(s) are exempt from the shareholder approval requirements.  However, such exemptions will not apply if one or more shareholders holding at least 1% of the issued and outstanding shares or voting rights, objects to the use of these exemptions in writing not later than 14 days from the date the company notifies the shareholders of the proposed adoption of such resolution approving the transaction.

In addition, the approval of the corporate audit committee,  followed by the approval of the board of directors and the shareholders,  is required to effect a private placement of securities, in which either (i) 20% or more of the company’s outstanding share capital prior to the placement is offered, and the payment for which (in whole or in part) is not in cash, in tradable securities registered in a stock exchange or not under market terms, and which will result in an increase of the holdings of a shareholder that holds 5% or more of the company’s outstanding share capital or voting rights or will cause any person to become, as a result of the issuance, a holder of more than 5% of the company’s outstanding share capital or voting rights or (ii) a person will become a controlling shareholder of the company.

A “controlling party” is defined in the Securities Law and in the Companies Law for purposes of the provisions governing related party transactions as a person with the ability to direct the actions of a company, or a person who holds 25% or more of the voting power in a public company if no other shareholder owns more than 50% of the voting power in the company, but excluding a person whose power derives solely from his or her position as a director of the company or any other position with the company, provided that two or more persons holding voting rights in the company, who each have a personal interest in the approval of the same transaction, shall be deemed to be one holder.
 
Compensation committee approval is also required (and thereafter, the approval of the board of directors and in certain cases – the approval of the shareholders) to approve the grant of an exemption from the responsibility for a breach of the duty of care towards the company, or for the provision of insurance or an undertaking to indemnify any office holder of the company; see below under “Exemption, Insurance and Indemnification of Directors and Officers.”
 
Duties of Office Holders and Shareholders

Duties of Office Holders

Fiduciary Duties. The Companies Law imposes a duty of care and a duty of loyalty on all office holders of a company, including directors and officers. The duty of care requires an office holder to act with the level of care with which a reasonable office holder in the same position would have acted under the same circumstances. The duty of loyalty includes avoiding any conflict of interest between the office holder's position in the company and his personal affairs, avoiding any competition with the company, avoiding exploiting any business opportunity of the company in order to receive personal advantage for himself or others, and revealing to the company any information or documents relating to the company's affairs which the office holder has received due to his position as an office holder.

The company may approve an action by an office holder from which the office holder would otherwise have to refrain due to its violation of the office holder’s duty of loyalty if: (i) the office holder acts in good faith and the act or its approval does not cause harm to the company, and (ii) the office holder discloses the nature of his or her interest in the transaction to the company a reasonable time before the company’s approval.
 
 
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Each person listed in the table under “Directors and Senior Management” above is considered an office holder under the Companies Law.

Disclosure of Personal Interests of an Office Holder. The Companies Law requires that an office holder of a company promptly disclose any personal interest that he or she may have and all related material information and documents known to him or her relating to any existing or proposed transaction by the company. If the transaction is an extraordinary transaction, the office holder must also disclose any personal interest held by the office holder's spouse, siblings, parents, grandparents, descendants, spouse’s siblings, parents and descendants and the spouses of any of these people, or any corporation in which the office holder is a 5% or greater shareholder, director or general manager or in which he or she has the right to appoint at least one director or the general manager. An extraordinary transaction is defined as a transaction other than in the ordinary course of business; otherwise than on market terms; or that is likely to have a material impact on the company’s profitability, assets or liabilities.

In the case of a transaction which is not an extraordinary transaction, after the office holder complies with the above disclosure requirements, only board approval is required unless the articles of association of the company provide otherwise. The transaction must be for the benefit of the company.  Furthermore, if the transaction is an extraordinary transaction, then, in addition to any approval stipulated by the articles of association, it also must be approved by the company's audit committee (or with respect to terms of office and employment, the compensation committee) and then by the board of directors, and, under certain circumstances, by a meeting of the shareholders of the company. A director who has a personal interest in a transaction, may be present if a majority of the members of the board of directors or the audit committee (or with respect to terms of office and employment, the compensation committee), as the case may be, has a personal interest. If a majority of the board of directors has a personal interest, then shareholders’ approval is also required.

Duties of Shareholders

Under the Companies Law, a shareholder has a duty to act in good faith toward the company and other shareholders and to refrain from abusing his or her power in the company, including, among other things, voting in a general meeting of shareholders on any amendment to the articles of association, an increase of the company's authorized share capital, a merger or approval of interested party transactions which require shareholders' approval.

In addition, any controlling shareholder, any shareholders who knows that it possess power to determine the outcome of a shareholder vote and any shareholder who, pursuant to the provisions of a company's articles of association, has the power to appoint or prevent the appointment of an office holder in the company, is under a duty to act with fairness towards the company. The Companies Law does not describe the substance of this duty but provides that a breach of his duty is tantamount to a breach of fiduciary duty of an office holder of the company

Exculpation, Insurance and Indemnification of Directors and Officers
 
Pursuant to the Companies Law and the Securities Law, the Israeli Securities Authority (“ISA”) is authorized to impose administrative sanctions, including monetary fines, against companies like ours and their officers and directors for certain violations of the Securities Law or the Companies Law (for further details see in “Administrative Enforcement” below); and the Companies Law provides that companies like ours may indemnify their officers and directors and purchase an insurance policy to cover certain liabilities, if provisions for that purpose are included in their articles of association.
 
Our Articles of Association allow us to indemnify and insure our office holders to the full extent permitted by law.
 
 
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Office Holders' Exemption

Under the Companies Law, an Israeli company may not exempt an office holder from liability for a breach of his or her duty of loyalty, but may exempt in advance an office holder from his or her liability to the company, in whole or in part, for a breach of his or her duty of care (except in connection with distributions), provided that the Articles of Association allow it to do so. Our Articles of Association allow us to exempt our office holders to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Office Holders’ Insurance

Our Articles of Association provide that, subject to the provisions of the Companies Law, we may enter into a contract for the insurance of all or part of the liability of any of our office holders imposed on the office holder in respect of an act performed by him or her in his or her capacity as an office holder for, in respect of each of the following:

 
·
a breach of his or her duty of care to us or to another person;

 
·
a breach of his or her duty of loyalty to us, provided that the office holder acted in good faith and had reasonable cause to assume that his or her act would not prejudice our interests; and

 
·
a financial liability imposed upon him or her in favor of another person.

Without derogating from the aforementioned, subject to the provisions of the Companies Law and the Securities Law, we may also enter into a contract to insure an office holder, in respect of expenses, including reasonable litigation expenses and legal fees, incurred by an office holder in relation to an administrative proceeding instituted against such office holder or payment required to be made to an injured party, pursuant to certain provisions of the Securities Law.

Office Holder's Indemnification

Our Articles of Association provide that, subject to the provisions of the Companies Law and the Securities Law, we may indemnify any of our office holders in respect of an obligation or expense specified below, imposed on or incurred by the office holder in respect of an act performed in his capacity as an office holder, as follows:

 
·
a financial liability imposed on him or her in favor of another person by any judgment, including a settlement or an arbitration award approved by a court. Such indemnification may be approved (i) after the liability has been incurred or (ii) in advance, provided that our undertaking to indemnify is limited to events that our board of directors believes are foreseeable in light of our actual operations at the time of providing the undertaking and to a sum or criterion that our board of directors determines to be reasonable under the circumstances, provided, that such event, sum or criterion shall be detailed in the undertaking;

 
·
reasonable litigation expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by the office holder as a result of an investigation or proceeding instituted against him by a competent authority which concluded without the filing of an indictment against him and without the imposition of any financial liability in lieu of criminal proceedings, or  which concluded without the filing of an indictment against him but with the imposition of a financial liability in lieu of criminal proceedings concerning a criminal offense that does not require proof of criminal intent or  in connection with a financial sanction (the phrases “proceeding concluded without the filing of an indictment” and “financial liability in lieu of criminal proceeding” shall have the meaning ascribed to such phrases in section 260(a)(1a) of the Companies Law);
 
 
·
reasonable litigation expenses, including attorneys’ fees, expended by an office holder or charged to the office holder by a court, in a proceeding instituted against the office holder by the Company or on its behalf or by another person, or in a criminal charge from which the office holder was acquitted, or in a criminal proceeding in which the office holder was convicted of an offense that does not require proof of criminal intent; and
 
 
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·
expenses, including reasonable litigation expenses and legal fees, incurred by an office holder inrelation to an administrative proceeding instituted against such office holder, or payment required to be made to an injured party,  pursuant to certain provisions of the Securities Law.
 
The Company may undertake to indemnify an office holder as aforesaid, (a) prospectively, provided that, in respect of the first act (financial liability) the undertaking is limited to events which in the opinion of the board of directors are foreseeable in light of the Company’s actual operations when the undertaking to indemnify is given, and to an amount or criteria set by the board of directors as reasonable under the circumstances, and further provided that such events and amount or criteria are set forth in the undertaking to indemnify, and (b) retroactively.

Limitations on Insurance and Indemnification

The Companies Law provides that a company may not exculpate or indemnify an office holder nor enter into an insurance contract which would provide coverage for any monetary liability incurred as a result of any of the following:

 
·
a breach by the office holder of his or her duty of loyalty, except that the company may enter into an insurance contract or indemnify an office holder if the office holder acted in good faith and had a reasonable basis to believe that the act would not prejudice the company;

 
·
a breach by the office holder of his or her duty of care if the breach was done intentionally or recklessly, unless it was committed only negligently;

 
·
any act or omission done with the intent to derive an illegal personal benefit; or

 
·
any fine levied against the office holder.

In addition, under the Companies Law, exculpation and indemnification of, and procurement of insurance coverage for, our office holders must be approved by our compensation committee and our board of directors and, with respect to an office holder who is chief executive officer or a director, also by our shareholders. However, according to the Relief Regulations, shareholders’ approval for the procurement of directors’ insurance is not required if the insurance policy is approved by our compensation committee and (i) the terms of such policy are within the framework for insurance coverage as approved by our shareholders and set forth in our compensation policy; (ii) the premium paid under the insurance policy is at fair market value; and (iii) the insurance policy does not and may not have a substantial effect on the Company’s profitability, assets or obligations; provided however that no holder of 1% or more of the issued and outstanding share capital or voting rights in the company objects to such exemption from the shareholders’ approval requirement, such objection to be submitted to the company in writing not later than 14 days from the date the company notifies its shareholders regarding the adoption of such resolution by the company. If such objection is duly and timely submitted, then the remuneration arrangement of the directors will require shareholders’ approval as detailed above.
 
Indemnification letters, covering indemnification and insurance of those liabilities imposed under the Companies Law and the Securities Law discussed above, were granted to each of our present office holders and were approved for future office holders. Hence, we indemnify our office holders to the fullest extent permitted under the Companies Law.
 
We currently hold directors’ and officers’ liability insurance for the benefit of our office holders, which includes directors. This policy was approved by our compensation committee, after confirming that its terms are within the framework set forth for insurance coverage under our compensation policy.
 
Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, may be permitted to our directors, officers and controlling persons, we have been advised that, in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is, therefore, unenforceable.
 
 
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Administrative Enforcement
 
The Israeli Securities Law includes an administrative enforcement procedure to be used by the Israel Securities Authority, to enhance the efficacy of enforcement in the securities market in Israel. This administrative enforcement procedure may be applied to any company or person (including director, officer or shareholder of a company) performing any of the actions specifically designated as breaches of law under the Securities Law. Furthermore, the Securities Law requires that the chief executive officer of a company supervise and take all reasonable measures to prevent the company or any of its employees from breaching the Israeli Securities Law. The chief executive officer is presumed to have fulfilled such supervisory duty if the company adopts internal enforcement procedures designed to prevent such breaches, appoints a representative to supervise the implementation of such procedures and takes measures to correct the breach and prevent its reoccurrence.
 
As detailed above, under the Securities Law, a company cannot obtain insurance against or indemnify a third party (including its officers and/or employees) for any administrative procedure and/or monetary fine (other than for payment of damages to an injured party). The Securities Law permits insurance and/or indemnification for expenses related to an administrative procedure, such as reasonable legal fees, provided that it is permitted under the company's articles of association.
 
We have adopted and implemented an internal enforcement plan to reduce our exposure to potential breaches of the Israeli Securities Law. Our Articles of Association and letters of indemnification permit, among others, insurance and/or indemnification as contemplated under the Securities Law (see “EXCULPATION, INSURANCE AND INDEMNIFICATION OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICER” above).

Internal Auditor
 
Under the Israeli Companies Law, the board of directors of a public company must appoint an internal auditor proposed by the corporate audit committee (see under “Committees of the Board of Directors” – “Corporate Audit Committee”, above). The internal auditor may be an employee of the company but may not be an interested party, an office holder or a relative of the foregoing, nor may the internal auditor be the company’s independent accountant or its representative. The role of the internal auditor is to examine, among other things, whether the company’s conduct complies with applicable law, integrity and orderly business procedure.  The internal auditor has the right to request that the chairman of the corporate audit committee convene a corporate audit committee meeting, and the internal auditor may participate in all corporate audit committee meetings.
 
We have appointed the firm of Chaikin, Cohen, Rubin & Co., Certified Public Accountants (Isr.) as our internal auditor. Our internal auditor meets the independence requirements of the Companies Law, as detailed above.

Dividends
 
Dividends may be paid only out of accumulated retained earnings, as defined in the Companies Law, as of the end of the most recent fiscal period or as accrued over a period of two years, whichever is higher, and out of surplus derived from net profit and other surplus that is neither share capital nor premium, all as determined under the Companies Law (the “Profit Test”), in each case provided that there is no reasonable concern that payment of the dividend will prevent us from satisfying our existing and foreseeable obligations as they become due (the “Redemption Ability Test”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, dividends may be paid with the approval of a court even if the Profit Test is not met, provided that there is no reasonable concern that payment of the dividend will prevent us from satisfying the Redemption Ability Test. Dividends may be paid in cash, assets, shares or debentures. For further information, please see “Financial Information” – “Dividends,” under Item 8 below.  In connection with the 2013 Credit Facility, we undertook not to distribute dividends (unless certain terms are met) without the Banks’ prior written consent pursuant to the agreement.
 
 
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Mergers and Acquisitions under Israeli Law

In general, a merger of a company requires the approval of the holders of a majority of 75% of the voting power represented at the annual or special general meeting in person or by proxy or by a written ballot, as shall be permitted, and voting thereon in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Law. However, in accordance with our Articles of Association a shareholder resolution approving a merger of the Company shall be deemed adopted if approved by the holders of a majority of the voting power represented at the meeting in person or by proxy and voting thereon. Upon the request of a creditor of either party of the proposed merger, the court may delay or prevent the merger if it concludes that there exists a reasonable concern that as a result of the merger, the surviving company will be unable to satisfy the obligations of any of the parties to the merger. In addition, a merger may not be completed unless at least (i) 50 days have passed from the time that the requisite proposal for the merger has been filed by each party with the Israeli Registrar of Companies and (ii) 30 days have passed since the merger was approved by the shareholders of each party.
 
The Companies Law also provides that, an acquisition of shares in a public company must be made by means of a tender offer if as a result of the acquisition the purchaser would become a holder of a ”control block” (i.e., shares conferring twenty-five percent or more of the voting rights at the general meeting),  or if as a result of the acquisition the purchaser would become a holder of 45% or more of the voting power in the company, unless there is already a holder of a “control block ,” or  a holder of 45% or more of the voting power in the company, respectively. These requirements do not apply if, the acquisition (1) was made in a private placement that received shareholders’ approval (including approval of the purchaser becoming a holder of a “control block,” or 45% or more, of the voting power in the company, unless there is already a holder of a “control block” or 45% or more, respectively, of the voting power in the company), (2) was from a holder of a “control block” in the company and resulted in the acquirer becoming a holder of a “control block,” or (3) was from a holder of 45% or more of the voting power in the company and resulted in the acquirer becoming a holder of 45% or more of the voting power in the company. The tender offer must be extended to all shareholders, but the offer or is not required to purchase more than 5% of the company's outstanding shares, regardless of how many shares are tendered by shareholders. The tender offer may be consummated only if (i) at least 5% of the company’s outstanding shares will be acquired by the offer or and (ii) the number of shares tendered in the offer exceeds the number of shares whose holders objected to the offer.
 
If as a result of an acquisition of shares, the acquirer will hold more than 90% of a company’s outstanding shares, the acquisition must be made by means of a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares. If as a result of such full tender offer the acquirer would own more than 95% of the outstanding shares, then all the shares that the acquirer offered to purchase will be transferred to it. The law provides for appraisal rights if any shareholder files a request in court within six months following the consummation of a full tender offer, but the acquirer will be entitled to stipulate that tendering shareholders forfeit their appraisal rights. If as a result of a full tender offer the acquirer would own 95% or less of the outstanding shares, then the acquirer may not acquire shares that will cause his shareholding to exceed 90% of the outstanding shares. Shareholders may request an appraisal in connection with a tender offer for a period of six months following the consummation of the tender offer, but the purchaser is entitled to stipulate as a condition of such tender offer that any tendering shareholder renounce its appraisal rights.

Furthermore, certain provisions of other Israeli laws may have the effect of delaying, preventing or making more difficult an acquisition of or merger with us; see Item 3, Risk Factors: “Provisions of our Articles of Association, Israeli law and financing documents could delay, prevent or make difficult a change of control and therefore depress the price of our shares.”
 
D.
Employees
 
As of December 31, 2014, we had 1016 employees worldwide, of whom 220 were employed in research, development and engineering, 533 in sales and marketing, 83 in management and administration and 180 in operations.  Of these employees, 340 were based in Israel, 34 were based in the United States, 334 were based in EMEA (not including Israel), 201 were based in Latin America and 107 were based in Asia Pacific.
 
We and our Israeli employees are not parties to any collective bargaining agreements. However, with respect to such employees, we are subject to Israeli labor laws, regulations and collective bargaining agreements applicable to us by extension orders of the Israeli Ministry of Labor and Welfare, as are in effect from time to time. Generally, we provide our employees with benefits and working conditions above the legally required minimums.
 
 
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Israeli law generally and applicable extension orders require severance pay upon the retirement or death of an employee or termination without due cause, payment to pension funds or similar funds in lieu thereof and require us and our employees to make payments to the National Insurance Institute, which is similar to the U.S. Social Security Administration. Such amounts also include payments by the employee for mandatory health insurance.

Substantially all of our employment agreements include employees’ undertakings with respect to non-competition, assignment to us of intellectual property rights developed in the course of employment and confidentiality. However, it should be noted that the enforceability of non- competition undertakings is rather limited under the local laws in certain jurisdictions, including Israel and Norway.

To date, we have not experienced labor-related work stoppages and believe that our relations with our employees are good.

The employees of our other subsidiaries are subject to local labor laws and regulations that vary from country to country.

Share Ownership
 
The following table sets forth certain information regarding the ordinary shares owned, and stock options held, by our directors and senior management as of March 31, 2015.  The percentage of outstanding ordinary shares is based on 77,157,473 ordinary shares outstanding as of March 31, 2015.
 
Name
 
Number of Ordinary Shares(1)
   
Percentage of
Outstanding
Ordinary Shares
   
Number of Stock Options Held(2)
   
Range of exercise prices per share of stock options