WeWork Reportedly Raises $760 Million at $20 Billion Valuation

Business in Brief | Matomy shares rally on preliminary first-half results ■ Bank of Israel finally sets rules on lending to speculative traders ■ Shares mixed as banks rally, Bezeq and energy shares slump

A WeWork co-working space in Tel Aviv. The picture shows a spacious, open area with a number of seating options, with wood floors, Oriental and sleek wood and upholstered furniture.
A WeWork co-working space in Tel Aviv. Courtesy of WeWork

WeWork reportedly raises $760 million at $20 billion valuation

WeWork, a company that rents out shared office space around the world cofounded by Israeli Adam Neumann, has raised $760 million in a new funding round that values the company at $20 billion, Forbes magazine reported. Citing documents filed with the Delaware Secretary of State on June 30th, the magazine said WeWork issued 13.2 million new shares of preferred stock at a price of $57.90. It follows a $300 million investment made by Japan’s Softbank in March. Founded by Neumann and Miguel McKelvey in 2010, WeWork has grown from 1,000 members and two locations to more than 120,000 customers in 156 offices, including seven facilities in Israel. If the report is true, the latest valuation means that WeWork now tops the market caps of Twitter ($12.96 billion), Box ($2.44 billion), and Blue Apron ($1.54 billion) combined. The latest funding round will fuel further expansion into new territories, Forbes said. (TheMarker Staff)

Matomy shares rally on preliminary first-half results

Shares of Matomy soared on the London Stock Exchange Tuesday after the Israeli digital ad company earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were up 60% in the first half of the year compared with the same time in 2016. The company said preliminary results adjusted for the first half-year would be between $9 million and $9.5 million, and revenues had climbed 15% to as much as $144 million. “Our decisive strategic actions over the past 18 months are beginning to flow through to stronger financial performance, with expected growth in Ebitda for full year 2017,” said CEO Sagi Niri, who took over in April after his predecessor left under pressure of losses and a falling share price. Niri has sought to slim down operations, announcing last week it had sold some noncore business to Creative Clicks for $11 million. Matomy didn’t release a full-year outlook, but analysts expect it to show a loss. The shares closed up 12.4% at 109 pence ($1.40). (Uri Tomer)

Bank of Israel finally sets rules on lending to speculative traders

Eleven years after Eliezer Fishman lost 2 billion shekels ($560 million) of borrowed money speculating on the Turkish lira, the Bank of Israel Banks Supervisor Hedva Ber announced rules for how banks manage the credit risk involved in such lending.  “The directive particularly emphasizes the method of risk management of customers engaging in speculative activity — customers with a significant volume of trading activity in derivatives and securities at especially high risk levels,” the central bank said. Among other things, the new rules place the onus on the banks’ boards to determine the risk appetite and risk tolerance levels for clients trading in the capital market. Clients engaged in speculative trading will be required to provide banks with liquid collateral against the potential and existing risks, the Bank of Israel said.  (Michael Rochvarger)

Shares mixed as banks rally, Bezeq and energy shares slump

Tel Aviv shares ended mixed on Tuesday, but the slight movements of the main indices belied a day of volatile trading. The TA-35 ended up 0.04% at 1,453.93 points and the TA-125 down 0.12% to 1,297.12 on turnover of 1.2 billion shekels ($340 million). Trading in Bezeq group shares was suspended much of the day amid a widening securities investigation (see story on this page) after which they moved sharply lower. Energy stocks were down, too, as global oversupply encouraged banks to cut their forecasts for crude. Delek Drilling dropped 3% to 13.36 shekels and Isramco lost 1.1% to 54 agorot. Bank shares rallied, with Hapoalim rising 1.7% to 25.16 in its second day of big gains and Leumi adding 2.1% to 17.63. Israel Chemicals rose 2.4% to 16.77 while Evogene jumped 10.4% to 19.15 after reporting a milestone in its crop-disease collaboration with Monsanto. The dollar and euro both gained 0.8% to 3.5760 and 4.0753 shekels, respectively. (Guy Erez)