Business in Brief / IAI Creates New Civilian Group Ahead of IPO

Strauss Water to invest NIS 30m in expanded Haier joint venture; Super Drink to be put up for sale; TASE slumps, dragged down by overseas shares.

Reuters

IAI creates new civilian group ahead of IPO

Israel Aerospace Industries has formed a civilian business group to reduce losses in the segment ahead of plans to float shares for the first time in 2016, CEO Yossi Weiss said on Monday. The new group combines its Bedek aircraft maintenance unit with its executive jet business and engineering operations, even though the latter engages in both civilian and military work.

“IAI formed the group to create a center of knowledge and excellence in civilian areas and to developed a new and consistent strategy for the segment and create synergies,” Weiss said. The group, which accounts for 30% of its sales, employs 5,000 people and is headed by Gadi Cohen. IAI hopes to stem losses at Bedek, which reached $72 million in the first nine months of last year, and at its executive jet unit. IAI plans to sell a 15% to 20% stake to the public in Tel Aviv. (Ora Coren)

Strauss Water to invest NIS 30m in expanded Haier joint venture

Strauss Water, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Strauss Group, has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Haier, the giant Chinese electronics and home appliance manufacturer, for the reorganization and expansion of their joint venture through a new merged company. The new firm will sell reverse osmosis water purification dispensers that up to now have been entirely Haier’s. The venture, which is currently equally owned by the two firms, sells water dispensers using Strauss’ Maze water purification technology. Plans call for the expansion of sales to markets where Haier already has a presence, including Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong, and for Haier to assume a 66% stake in the new company, with Strauss Water retaining the rest. Strauss Water is to pay 30 million shekels ($7.6 million) for shares in the new firm, which will also be granted a license to use Strauss’ Maze technology. The memorandum of understanding also gives Strauss Water an option to purchase an additional 15% stake in the company. (Yoram Gabison)

Super Drink to be put up for sale

Super Drink, a Jerusalem-based beverage company, was granted a two-month stay of proceedings on Tuesday and, in the face of 21 million shekels ($5.3 million) in debt, buyers are being sought for the firm. Jerusalem District Court Judge David Mintz appointed trustees, whom he gave 15 days to submit a preliminary operating plan for the firm, along with permission to issue a request for bids for the purchase of the company. “On its face, it appears that dissolution of the company is a worse option than a stay of proceedings,” Mintz said, adding that the company’s creditors have consented to the stay. The company, which has annual revenues of 20 million, is privately held by the Michal family. (Efrat Neuman)

Taxing cars on mileage driven, not cost of vehicles

An experiment in taxing cars by how much they are driven rather than on the value of the vehicles themselves is to be expanded to as many as 100,000 motorists from 3,000 currently. Participating drivers are paid not to use their cars during peak commuting hours. Netivei Ayalon, which operates Tel Aviv’s Ayalon freeway, is seeking suppliers of the monitoring technology to be installed on vehicles participating in the trial. (Daniel Schmil)

TASE slumps, dragged down by overseas shares

Stocks on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange yesterday were generally down against the backdrop of share declines on markets abroad, influenced in part by a surprising drop in December retail sales in the United States and a lower global economic growth forecast. The benchmark Tel Aviv-25 dropped by 0.64% to 1,465.44 points while the Tel Aviv-100 dropped by a steeper 0.96% to 1,284.33. The dollar fell by 0.15% to 3.939 shekels while the euro declined 0.37% to 4.6301 shekels. The Banks-5 index and the Real Estate-15 index both slumped by about 0.1%. The communications index bucked the trend, closing 1.1% higher, pushed up by Bezeq, which rose 2.1% on the day. Yesterday’s overall trading volume was 1.58 billion shekels ($401 million). Rekah Pharmaceutical Industry jumped by 37% after reporting that FIMI Opportunity Funds was in negotiations to buy the company at a price that would represent a premium of 80%. Israel Corporation spin-off Kenon Holdings lost 3.9%. Perrigo was off 4.3% and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries was down by 2.1%. (Omri Zerachovitz)