Daily roundup / Perrigo CEO sells shares
It was busy week for Israeli pharma – plus an American high-tech company expands in Israel and the elderly strike a legal blow against ageism.
* Selloff by Perrigo CEO: Perrigo chief executive Joe Pappa exercised his stock options and then sold a million dollars' worth of his shares in the dual-listed drug company last Wednesday. His exercise price was somewhere between $20.50 and $35.85, and he received between $114.06 and $115.16 per share last week. Pappa, who has managed the generic drugmaker since 2006, has sold 65,000 Perrigo shares for $6.8 million this year. He still owns 100,000 shares.
* Taro rejects takeover offer from Sun: In another corner of the Israeli pharma world, a special committee at the Israeli drug maker Taro rejected a takeover offer by its Indian competitor Sun made in late 2011. Sun had offered $24.50 per Taro share – adding up to $368 million. No go, decided the Taro committee on Thursday, sending Taro shares up 3.3% in Friday trading on Nasdaq. The Taro committee said the offer was inappropriate and not in the best interests of Taro's shareholders.
* Teva loses one in court: In yet more pharma news, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries lost its challenge of Pfizer's $1.5 billion-a-year pain drug. The Wilmington, Delaware court ruled Friday that – contrary to Teva's claims – Pfizer's patents were perfectly fine. It ordered Teva and other generic drug companies to stop making and selling their copycat versions of Lyrica until 2018. Lyrica is Pfizer's third-biggest selling drug.
* Akamai invests in Israel: The American company Akamai Technologies, which provides companies with a cloud platform, is hiring and expanding its research and development in Israel. Seven months after acquiring the Israeli company Cotendo for $300 million, it is creating a new team focused on data security. The team will work alongside employees from Cotendo, which has traditionally worked to speed-up online content distribution. Akamai plans to hire about 20 people, says former Cotendo CEO Ronni Zehavi.
* Bat Yam to pay for ageism: Finding the Bat Yam municipality guilty of ageism, the Labor Court ordered it to compensate four workers it fired for the crime of being too old. The employees sued after being fired. The city said it was downsizing to help balance its budget, but the employees claimed they were punished for their advanced age and seniority (read: their cost to a city in a bind). Judge Neta Ruth ruled that while the city does have a towering deficit of NIS 170 million and needs to clean up, it could not legally deal with the problem by firing expensive senior employees.