Business in Brief: Israeli Collision-prevention Firm Mulls Nasdaq Listing

Control of Jerusalem Economy Corporation slips from Nehama’s hands in share offering; Supersol nearly doubles quarterly profits; Main TASE indexes end lower, led by Teva, Bezeq, banks.

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Pedestrians pass the entrance to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.
Pedestrians pass the entrance to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Credit: Bloomberg

Collision-prevention company Foresight weighing Nasdaq listing

Foresight Autonomous Holdings, a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange-traded company developing collision-prevention technology, said Monday its board is exploring listing its stock on the Nasdaq, too.

The company, which raised 16 million shekels ($4.1 million) in a private placement last month, said it was examining the idea at the request of an American investor who wants to put money into the company but would like to see its shares listed in the United States like its competitors, most notably Mobileye, another Israeli collision-tech company.

Unlike Mobileye and other companies in the sector, Foresight’s technology is based on a homeland-security platform developed by another startup called Magna that uses two cameras aboard the vehicle to create three-dimensional pictures. Magna controls 62% of the company. Shares of Foresight ended 1.4% higher at 2.10 shekels. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Control of Jerusalem Economy Corporation slips from Nehama’s hands in share offering

Control of Jerusalem Economy Corporation slipped out of Shlomo Nehama’s hands Monday after two other investors  — the publicly traded Summit Real Estate and Neopharm Group chairman and CEO David Fuhrer — outbid him in the public tranche of JEC’s share offering. Summit accumulated a 17% stake in JEC after offering 5.91 shekels ($1.51) a share, or 240 million shekels in all. Fuhrer acquired an additional 10% for 145 million shekels and the Altshuler Shaham investment house bought 12% for 174 million shekels. Nehama had planned to add to the JEC stake he bought from Bank Leumi last week by buying up to 35 million shares in the public tranche. But he offered just 5.25 shekels, well below the share’s final price.

The 750-million-shekel share offering left Nehama with just 13.5% of JEC, rather than the 25% he expected to control after yesterday’s share offering. He has the option of backing out of the deal to buy the Leumi shares. JEC shares ended down 5.3% at 5.20 shekels. (Michael Rochvarger and Eran Azran)

Supersol nearly doubles quarterly profits

Supersol, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, said Monday it nearly doubled its fourth-quarter profits. The food retailer earned 77 million shekels ($20 million) in the quarter, up from 42 million shekels a year earlier, while revenue grew 4% to 2.92 billion shekels. Sales at stores open for at least a year — a measure of growth — rose 6.4% while sales per square meter jumped 10.2% to 5,800 shekels.

Supersol said the troubles at its biggest rival, Mega, did not contribute to the improved same-store sales by bringing in new customers. Rather, it said, sales were boosted by growth of private-label products and profits by cost-cutting measures, including store closings. Gross profit climbed 17% to 746 million shekels, 25.5% of revenue. Still operating costs were up 9.7% to 654 million shekels because of bonuses and stock options for top executives as well as a rise in the minimum wage. Shares of Supersol ended down 0.7% to 12.73 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Main TASE indexes end lower, led by Teva, Bezeq, banks

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s main indexes ended lower in a generally higher market yesterday, weighed down by the decline of shares of Teva Pharmaceuticals, Bezeq and the banks. Most indexes were higher for the day, but the benchmark TA-25 index ended down 0.2% to 1,437.93 points, while the TA-100 lost 015% to 1,240.46. Turnover was a tepid 1.16 billion shekels ($300 million).

Teva, the most heavily traded stock of the day, ended down 1.6% at 220.40, Bezeq lost 1.5% to 8.76 and banks were lower on disappointing quarterly results (see story on this page). IDB Development Corporation rose 1.4% to 1.63 shekels even after warning it would report a fourth-quarter loss of as much as 400 million shekels. Mannkind led gainers in the TA-100, jumping 10.2% to 4.33, rebounding from a drop after its founder Alfred Mann died over the weekend. In currency trading, the euro lost more than 1% to a Bank of Israel rate of 4.2547 shekels. (Ruti Levy)