Business in Brief

Cofix expands its reach beyond Tel Aviv

The five-shekel-a-cup Cofix cafe chain, which has thrown competitors into a tizzy with its low prices, said on Sunday it would open five new branches over the next few months, including its first three outside of Tel Aviv in Givatayim, Netanya and Rishon Letzion. The chain, which offers everything on its menu for NIS 5 and currently operates two locations in Tel Aviv, said it plans to invest NIS 2 million in the new branches, with the first pair to open November 24. Cofix plans to launch about 50 branches by the end of next year at a total cost of NIS 25 million. (Adi Dovrat-Meseritz)

Granite in talks to sell desalination plant

Granite Hacarmel Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary of Azrieli Group, is in talks with Yaron Kestenbaum's Israel Infrastructure Fund and Pini Cohen's Noy Fund to sell its Palmachim desalinization plant at a price that, according to market sources, will likely to be in the range of NIS 150 million to NIS 175 million. Built at a cost of NIS 1 billion, the facility has undergone two expansions and produces 90 million cubic meters of fresh water annually. The timing of the sale is poor for Granite, as the Finance Ministry said a week ago it would not increase purchases of desalinated water in 2014 over this year's level of 345 cubic meters, even as the Soreq plant came on line in August. (Yoram Gabison)

Teva Tech workers end strike

A three-week strike by employees at the Teva Tech plant at Ramat Hovav ended over the weekend with the signing of a collective labor agreement that raises salaries by a third over five years. Under the accord signed by the Histadrut labor federation and Teva Pharmaceuticals, the plant's 1,100 workers will enjoy annual raises of 6.25%. The raise exceeds those won by unions at the drug company's other plants in Israel, which reached agreement with management in recent weeks. (Haim Bior)

Daniel Bar-On