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Bank Leumi picks new directors after contentious process

A general shareholders meeting of Bank Leumi approved six directors late Wednesday, ending a process that came under sharp criticism from the state comptroller and others for deviating from required procedure for picking new board members. David Brodet, who has been chairman, and Yoav Nardi, were both elected for second terms of three years, together with three new members – Etti Langerman and Nurit Segel, both former banking executives, and Shai Hermesh, a former Knesset member. Gabriella Shalev was reelected for a second term as an outside director. Despite the vote, it is likely that one of three failed candidates will turn to the High Court of Justice to try to block the election. (Sivan Aizescu)

Outbrain raises $35 million from venture funds

Outbrain, a content-recommendation startup that helps media companies increase traffic to their websites, said on Wednesday it raised $35 million from a group of investors led by the U.S. venture capital fund HarborVest. The proceeds, which brings the total since the company was formed in 2006 to $99 million, will be used for research and development and expanding its business, which operates out of 13 offices globally. Industry sources said the fundraising might signal that Outbrain is putting off a widely expected initial public offering next year of between $200 million and $300 million. Carmel, Index and Gemini Israel ventures, as well as GlenRock Israel, Rhodium and Lightspeed Venture Partners also joined in the round. (Inbal Orpaz)

Britain's Arup eyes tie-up with Mekorot

Britain's Arup is in talks with Israel's national water company Mekorot to partner on water projects around the world, a senior executive at the engineering firm told Reuters yesterday. "Mekorot is looking to work in different places; we are a global firm and we are keen to develop the relationship," Mark Fletcher, director of the global water business at Arup, told Reuters on the sidelines of a water technology conference. Projects could include general water supply, desalination and water recycling. One of the countries where the two companies are looking to partner is Myanmar. (Reuters

A Mekorot Water Co. station. Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz