Egg smuggling suspect gets license revoked: Yossi Eggs had its distribution license revoked by the Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday, five months after the arrest of its owner, Yossi Amar, on suspicion of smuggling eggs from the Palestinian Authority. Amar, whose trial is still pending, is charged with transporting undocumented eggs in contravention of Poultry Council regulations, illegally importing animal products, and potentially acting in ways that could cause the spread of disease. The ministry alleges that over an extended period of time Amar knowingly and misleadingly supplied the public with eggs that posed a health risk due to lack of veterinary supervision of their production and handling. Yossi Eggs, which has an 8% share of the local market, had distributed about 10 million eggs per month.
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As electricity usage peaks, power to 25,000 homes blows out: As of late Wednesday night, the storm lashing Israel for three days had knocked out the electricity supply to some 25,000 homes around the country. The Israel Electric Corp. explained that the problem isn't in concentrated areas but numerous local events, like trees knocking down power lines on a given block, and in some cases flooding of local power facilities. Meanwhile, the folks with power were using peak amounts of electricity to heat their homes, with usage spiking to 11,240 megawatts at 6:46 Wednesday evening. The utility reassured that it had enough power generation capacity in reserve to handle the demand, at least for people whose power lines were still standing.
'None of your business' - Three IDB directors quit: Three directors have stepped down from the board of IDB Holding Corp., the company at the top of the IDB group pyramid. One is Zahava Dankner, mother of IDB group controlling shareholder Nochi Dankner, who apparently stepped down for health reasons. Another is Eliahu Cohen, who's been on the board since 1981; and the third is a rep of the public, Amos Malka, who also chairs unaffiliated companies Logic and Plasan Sasa. IDB didn't comment on the departures beyond saying that the reasons didn't warrant being elaborated. TheMarker called Malka to inquire further. "It's none of the media's business," he said. "I haven't spoken with the press in my eight years on the job and I'm not about to do it now."
And IDB gains Danny Naveh: Going in the other direction, we find Danny Naveh, who on Wednesday joined the board of IDB Development Corp., a top subsidiary of the IDB group. Naveh had joined the board of Discount Investment Corp., another IDB subsidiary, a few weeks back. Naveh, a former government official, is also head of the Agate Medical Investments fund, which was founded with IDB's help; Clal Insurance – another IDB group company – is one of Agate's biggest funders.
HOT delisted, chairwoman quits: Two years after taking over as chairwoman of the HOT cable TV company, Stella Handler resigned on Wednesday, citing the company's delisting from trade on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Sources in the telecom industry say Handler disagreed with the company's owner, Patrick Drahi, about the merits of the move. She had served as an active chairwoman and was deeply involved in the company's management; with the company's delisting, much of her job was obviated, since it involved mediating between HOT's shareholders, Drahi and the company itself. After the parties failed to agree on new functions she could fulfill in her position, she decided to move on. Handler had spent 7 years managing rival company 012 Smile, which was acquired buy by Partner Communications.
Africa Israel buying back debt: Africa Israel Investments will be buying back up to NIS 700 million worth of its bonds, the real estate empire said on Thursday. The purpose of the repurchase is to economize on financing costs, explained Africa Israel, which is controlled by diamonds baron Lev Leviev. It is true that the buyback will reduce the company's liquidity, but it won't impair its ability to meet its liabilities, Africa Israel stated; and it will improve the company's capital structure and financial ratios, it says. During the last two years Africa Israel sold off NIS 1.2 billion worth of assets, accruing NIS 800 million cash.
Israel's SintecMedia buying U.S company StorerTV: SintecMedia is buying U.S.-based StorerTV for an undisclosed sum, the Israeli broadcast management system developer said on Wednesday. StorerTV, which has 100 employees, sells programming management software to television networks. Founded in 2000 by CEO Amotz Yarden, SintecMedia has about 300 employees. Most are based in Jerusalem, and the company runs centers in New York, Denver and London. Customers include NBC Universal, CBC, ABC Canada, and Mexico's Televisa. The company said it expects revenues for 2013 to reach NIS 200 million.
Watchdog smiles on supermarket takeover: The Antitrust Authority has agreed to let Bitan Wines buy the Kimat Hinam chain of discount supermarkets, at a company value of NIS 350 million. The merged chain will have 62 outlets, of which 36 are wine stores and the rest Kimat Hinam groceries, with combined estimated annual turnover of NIS 3 billion. Kimat Hinam will be delisted from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
With reporting by Inbal Orpaz, Shelly Appelberg, Itai Trilnick, Amir Teig, Orr Hirschauge and Ora Cohen