The Ticker: Kedem on Way to Raising $150 Million for New Private Equity Fund

SodaStream said to be in acquisition talks with British fund; Settlement offered in IDB dividend suit; Kardan NV agrees to debt talks with bondholders; TA-25 rises in last-minute move.

Ofer Vaknin

Kedem on way to raising $150 million for new private equity fund

The private equity fund Kedma Capital is two thirds of the way toward completing a $150-million fundraising round for a second fund, TheMarker has learned. The fund, whose partners include Gilead Halevy, the son of the former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy, completed investing the $75 million it raised for its first fund and is due to cash out as early as the end of next year. Since it was formed in 2006, Kedem’s first fund, sources said, has enjoyed an internal rate of return of 20% annually for its investors, the biggest of them being the New York-based York Fund. Kedem typically invests in small, family-controlled, export-oriented companies. Kedem declined to comment. (Eran Azran)

SodaStream said to be in talks to sell itself to British fund

SodaStream, the maker of devices used to make fizzy drinks at home, is in talks to sell itself to a British investment fund for $840 million, sources in the financial markets say. The price works out to $40 a share, a 27% premium over its closing share price of $31.48 in New York Monday. The company – famous as much for employing the actress Scarlett Johansson as a pitchwoman earlier this year as it is for operating a plant in the West Bank that has spurred boycott calls – has been the subject of repeated rumors about a full or partial buying by PepsiCo and others. Although the rumors have helped lift the share price periodically although its major direction has been downward, it trades at a $684 million market capitalization, down 25% from the value when it went public in 2011. SodaStream shares were up 1.5% at $31.96 in New York at midday local time. (Yoram Gabison)

Settlement offered in IDB dividend suit

Nochi Dankner and former directors of IDB Development Corporation, one of the key companies is the conglomerate he lost control of earlier this year, on Tuesday reached a settlement ending two lawsuits that sought to win back some 442 million shekels ($121.5 million) in dividends for plaintiffs who asserted that they were paid out improperly. Under the agreement, they would repay the company 50.6 million shekels for the dividends, which were paid in 2010 and 2011, to its parent, IDB Holding Corporation, a time when Danker was struggling to keep IDB afloat financially. The settlement would not require any of those involved to admit to any wrongdoing, a condition that IDB Development said it would oppose as it pursues its own suit regarding the dividends. IDB Development faces another suit demanding 1.3 billion shekels in dividends that plaintiffs say were paid out improperly. (Shelly Appelberg)

Kardan NV agrees to debt talks with bondholders

The board of property company Kardan NV has buckled under pressure from bondholders and agreed on Tuesday to explore bailout talks on 346 million euros ($448 million) worth of debt. The talks will focus on rescheduling repayments on interest and principal for Kardan’s Alef and Bet series bonds. Bondholders don’t believe Kardan can sell off assets fast enough to meeting the schedule of bond repayments as well as pay off a 33 million-euro loan to Israel Discount Bank. They fear that management’s insistence of keeping to the current repayment schedule will force it to cash in assets at lower valuations, hurting Kardan’s finance and risking repayments due later. Kardan is due to repay 28 million euros to Discount in December and 101 million euros to bondholders next February. Shares of Kardan rose 4.2% to 1.32 shekels (36 cents) in Tel Aviv. (Yoram Gabison)

TA-25 rises in last-minute move

The TA-25 index took a last-minute run higher on Tuesday while bond prices rose sharply and the dollar strengthened to a 14-month high against the shekel. The benchmark index ended up 0.6% at 1,431.64 points, while the TA-100 advanced 0.5% to 1,285.30. Turnover, however, was a thin 804 million shekels ($221 million). Nice System held TA-100 stocks higher with a 2.6% rise to 151 shekels, while Pluristem added 2% to 10.18 after it said it was evaluating strategic opportunities to codevelop and commercialize its cell therapy technology in Japan due to recent changes in Japan’s laws governing regenerative medicine. The government’s 10-year shekel bond climbed 0.52% to lower the yield to 2.48%. The U.S. currency strengthened 0.4% to a Bank Israel rate of 3.641 shekels, while the euro added nearly 0.6% to 4.78132. (Eran Azran)