Business in Brief / Elsztain, Ben-Moshe Ready to Part at IDB

Teva steps up pressure on Mylan; Strauss profit up slightly in quarter; Trading goes overtime amid high volume.

Moti Milrod

Elsztain, Ben-Moshe ready to part at IDB 

A year after the two took control of the IDB group in a debt bailout, Moti Ben-Moshe and Eduardo Elsztain were getting ready to finally part ways, sending IDB Development Corporation shares surging. “It is impossible to continue as we have and it is only right that the company establish clear, stable and visionary leadership,” Ben-Moshe said. Under the terms of their buy-me-buy-you agreement, Ben-Moshe Thursday offered to buy out Elsztain for 1.64 shekels (42 cents) a share. Elsztain, who has boosted his holding to the point where he now controls the group outright, is unlikely to accept the offer but under the terms of the BMBY clause, he can now buy out Ben-Moshe for the same price. Elsztain prevailed in a long-running dispute the two had over strategy. IDB Development shares soared to 2.04 shekels, a gain of 26.8% for the day. (Michael Rochvarger)

Teva steps up pressure on Mylan 

Stepping up pressure on Mylan, the U.S. drug maker it is trying to take over, Teva Pharmaceuticals disclosed late Wednesday that it had accumulated a 1.35% interest in Mylan. The company will use the holding to make its voice heard at the Mylan shareholders’ meeting to approve Mylan’s bid to take over Perrigo. As a Netherlands-based company, Mylan must allow any shareholder with a 3% stake to put a motion of the agenda. Teva offered to buy Mylan for $82 per share in cash and stock last month, but Mylan has rejected it, saying it “grossly undervalued” the company, setting up a three-way battle as Mylan pursues its own hostile takeover of over-the-counter drug maker Perrigo. Teva shares ended 0.4% up at 234.80 shekels ($60.33). (Yoram Gabison)

Strauss profit up slightly in quarter

Food maker Strauss Group reported a slight rise in profit Thursday as cost-cutting offset a dip in coffee sales. The company earned an adjusted 102 million shekels ($26 million) in the first quarter, up from 99 million a year ago. Sales fell 2.1% to 1.93 billion shekels, but excluding the effect of a strengthening shekel they rose 1.8%.Coffee sales fell 2.4% to 846 million shekels, but excluding currency effects sales were up 8.2%. Sales at its ips and spreads joint venture, half-owned by PepsiCo, gained 22%. “Strauss Coffee’s companies in Russia and Ukraine ... are coping successfully and according to plan with the crisis in those countries,” said CEO Gadi Lesin. Strauss shares ended down 0.3% at 64.64 shekels. (Reuters)

Trading goes overtime amid high volume

TASE trading went into overtime Thursday amid wild trading that only ended at at 5:50 P.M. Turnover was double the usual, with 3.44 billion shekels changing hands as the May Ma’of (TA-25) contract expired and the MSCI global stock index underwent a reweighing, causing foreign investors to adjust their portfolios. The TA-25 ended down 0.6% at 1,677.03 points while the TA-100 fell 0.5% to 1,453.35. Africa Israel dropped 4.9% to end at 3.41 shekels. Migal Insurance lost 4.2%% to 4.54 after it reports an 85 million-shekel first-quarter loss. Rami Levy dropped 3.7% to 155 shekels on a weak first quarter.  (Eran Azran)