Daily roundup / Fitch upgrades Atrium
Gazit Globe's European subsidiary Atrium's short-term credit rating gets an upgrade; 7-Eleven guzzles gas stations from Israeli-owned company EZenergy.
Fitch upgrades Atrium: Fitch this week upgraded Gazit Globe's European subsidiary Atrium's short-term credit rating by one notch, to BBB-minus from BB+, with stable outlook, meaning the international credit rating agency doesn't anticipate changing the rating in the foreseeable future. Fitch was charmed by the company's steadying revenue from leasing the property it owns, drop in asset management costs, and not least, the fact that buying back its debt lowered its interest costs. Atrium owns 160 shopping centers throughout Europe. While Gazit Globe is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Atrium is listred for trading on the Zurich stock market.
Intec Pharma stock gamboled like a gazelle Tuesday, rising 9% on heavy turnover (for this smallcap) of NIS 1.3 million after the company announced success in a clinical trial of a treatment for Parkinson's Disease. Specifically, the company was pleased with the outcome of its crucial Phase II tests of Accordion Pill Carbidopa/Levodopa, which is being developed to treat advanced stages of Parkinson's. Levodopa is widely used to alleviate Parkinson's symptoms; Intec's innovation is to steady the level of the drug in the bloodstream, to relieve fluctuations in its level and consequent instability in its effect.
Boston Scientific buying Rhythmia Medical for $265 million: U.S. med-tech giant Boston Scientific is acquiring cardiac-technology company Rhythmia Medical for $265 million. Note that of the amount, $90 million will be paid in cash and all the rest is contingent on milestones, to be achieved by 2017. Boston Scientific feels that the Burlington, Massachusetts-based company, founded in 2004 by the Israelis Doron Harlev and Leon Amariglio, addresses a $2.5-billion a year market that's growing like a weed.
Hapoalim sells desalination loan: Bank Hapoalim has sold part of an NIS 180-million long-term loan it extended to the Via Maris desalination facility, to a consortium of institutional investors. The Via Maris plant, which began treating water in 2007, is owned by Granite Hacarmel. Before the piece of the loan was sold, the Via Maris project owed Bank Hapoalim NIS 850 million.
7-Eleven buys gas stations from EZenergy: Four months after announcing a delay in repaying NIS 30 million to bondholders, the Israeli-owned company EZenergy yesterday announced selling most of the gas stations it owns in the U.S. for $64 million. The buyer is the convenience-store chain 7-Eleven. The price 7-Eleven agreed to pay is well above other offers EZenergy received: a haircut is not on the horizon, and on the contrary, the company will be redeeming some of its bond debt early. Since news of the deal broke, EZenergy have bounced 160% in price, lowering the yields on the bonds to 6.4%.
With reporting by Vadim Sviderski, Yoram Gabison.