Bronfman’s Claridge puts money into startup GigaSpaces
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Claridge Israel, the Israeli investment vehicle of Canada’s Bronfman family, is back on the local scene after a long hiatus. Together with the Canadian pension fund Caisse de Depot et placement du Quebec, Claridge is putting about $11.8 million into the Israeli cloud-computing startup GigaSpaces, as part of a $20-million funding round.
Claridge is controlled by Stephen Bronfman, son of Charles Bronfman and cousin to Matthew Bronfman, who is a shareholder in Super-Sol and in Ikea Israel. In the 1990s, Claridge was a major investor in Israel, buying control of the Koor conglomerate and taking stakes in Teva Pharmaceuticals and Osem, but divested them all, including Koor, by 2006.
Last year, Claridge said it would resume investing in high-tech, real estate and in other investment funds. GigaSpace’s “profile very much fits our investment strategy — a solid company that holds a technological advantage and that can pursue substantial growth opportunities in more than one area,” said Claridge Israel Managing Director Oded Tal. (Michael Rochvarger)
Victory in talks to enlist European partner to buy Mega
Israeli discount supermarket chain Victory is reportedly in talks to bring an unnamed Europe food retailer in as a shareholder and help it buy the 117 Mega supermarkets now for sale. Victory bought five of Mega’s You discount supermarkets this month for 35 million shekels ($8.8 million). Two months earlier it bought five others for 5.7 million shekels, which will double the chain’s floor space to 58,000 square meters to boost its annual sales to 500 million shekels.
Victory is one of several potential bidders for the Mega stores, which are being sold by a court-appointed receiver after the chain won protection from creditors earlier this week. Without outside financing, acquiring the 117 stores would be difficult for Victory, which had shareholder’s equity of just 159 million shekels at the end of the third quarter. Shares of Victory ended 2.8% higher at 32.26 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)
Shares rebound day after global blowout
Tel Aviv shares rebounded Thursday from sharp drops on Wednesday, joining a global rally buoyed by comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that raised hopes of further monetary stimulus.
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index finished up 0.45% to 1,439.99 points, while the TA-100 gained nearly 0.7% to 1,238.61, as 1.77 billion shekels ($450 million) in shares changed hands. Among blue chips, Israel Chemicals rose 2.5% to close at 15.89 shekels and Perrigo gained 2.1% to 582.50.
Technology stocks led the market higher, with MannKind surging 13.6% to a close of 3.44 shekels after it said it had entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement with a newly formed company, Receptor Life Sciences, to develop inhaled therapeutic products.
Tower Jazz rose 6.7% to 47.71. Telecom and banking stocks were mostly lower. The government’s inflation-linked Galil bond rose 0.6%. (Shelly Appelberg)