Bagir Pricing London IPO This Weekend

PR exec gets 30 months for insider trading.

Bloomberg

.Bagir, which makes and markets men’s and women’s suits under names such as Simon Carter, Austin Reed’s AR RED and Jay Godfrey, will be selling $35 million shares for trading on the London Stock Exchange. Bagir, which is 50%-owned by the FIMI private equity fund and 43% by investor Tzvika Birnbaum, expects to price the shares by this weekend in an offering that values the company at $50 million before the IPO. Bagir still suffers negative equity from heavy losses in the past, but last year posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) of $6 million annually on sales of $100 million, up from $3.6 million and $87 million, respectively, in 2012. Proceeds from the IPO will be used to repay $28 million in bank debt, the company said. (Yoram Gabison)

PR exec gets 30 months for insider trading

Zvi Rabin, CEO of the public relations agency Kwan Communications, was sentenced by the Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday to 30 months prison after he was convicted two months ago of 48 counts of insider trading. Attorney Guy Penn was sentenced to 15 months and fined 1.5 million shekels ($431,000) on 138 counts. “We are talking about an unprecedented case of insider trading by an insider and the person who was given the information,” Judge Khaled Kabub said. “Such extensive and systematic insider trading at the expense of the investing public demands serious punishment.” Rabin was accused of trading on proprietary information he received from his corporate clients in his role as PR and image consultant, and leaked it to Penn. (Jasmin Gueta)

U.S. probes cost Leumi $183 million over two years

Bank Leumi has spent 636 million shekels ($183 million) in the past two years in legal costs connected with a United States government investigation into suspicions it helped client avoid taxes. The figure was revealed in the bank’s 2013 annual financial statement released on Monday. The bank said it had spent 146 million shekels on legal and accounting services connected with the probe, and made 490 million shekels in provisions against fines it expects it will have to pay. “There’s no longer a white money policy that allows each bank to adopt what policies it likes,” CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach said. “We are readying ourselves for this new world. As part of that, we decided to get out of diamond [financing] activities.” Leumi is one of three Israeli banks under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department in connection with offshore private banking services that may have enabled wealthy Americans to evade taxes. (Sivan Aizescu)

Wix drops plans for secondary share offering

Wix, the web-platform development company that went public on Wall Street last November, said on Monday it had withdrawn plans for a secondary share offering, citing “adverse market conditions.” The company had filed the registration statement March 20 for the proposed offering of ordinary shares to be issued by itself and existing shareholders. Wix shares, which sold at $16.50 in the IPO, had rallied in the first two months after the initial public offering and reached as high as $31.32 at the end of February, before tumbling to as low at $20.27 last Thursday. The shares were down 1.6% to $22.60 in New York Tuesday morning. (TheMarker Staff)

Dollar weakens against shekel for third session

The dollar lost ground to the shekel for the third straight trading day on Tuesday, with the Bank of Israel rate set at 3.4760 shekels, a loss of 0.3% for the greenback and its weakest in two weeks. The euro weakened 0.36% to 4.7953 shekels. The central factors responsible for the continued weakness of the dollar against the shekel are the interest rate gap that favors the shekel, Israel’s strong economic growth as well as dollar printing by the U.S. Federal Reserve, said currency trader FXCM. “The dominant factor in local currency trading is speculators, mainly foreigners. The influence of the Bank of Israel is marginal, even when it engages in massive intervention,” FXCM said. (Dror Reich)

Tel Aviv shares rise, led by biotech

Tel Aviv shares rose sharply on Tuesday, led by biotechnology stocks, but in thin turnover. The benchmark TA-25 index finished up 0.75% at 1,412.77 points while the TA-100 added 0.9% to end at 1,294.42 on turnover of 1.06 billion shekels ($305 million). Leading the gainers in the TA-100 index were the biotech companies Kamada, which jumped 6% to finish at 53.02 shekels and Clal Biotechnology, which finished 5.8% higher at 13.17 shekels. Perrigo rose 1.5% to 541.80 shekels after it announced it had begun shipping a generic version of LEO Pharma A/S’ Taclonex ointment, a psoriasis treatment whose brand sales were approximately $110 million over the last 52 weeks. (Dror Reich)