Daily Roundup / Huge Insider Deal Brewing at IDB

IDB might keep Clal in the family; Ceragon investors will just have to be patient; Nasvax gets a cash injection.

Could Australians shatter the Israeli gas monopoly? Could be. The Aussie company Woodside agreed a month ago to buy 30% of the rights to Leviathan, the gigantic field of gas found in Israeli territorial waters; now it's reportedly thinking of marketing its share of the gas in Israel separately from its partners, the Delek Group (30%), Texas-based Noble Energy (30%) and Ratio Oil Exploration (10%). And that would create competition to its partners – most notably to Delek and Noble, which have already been declared a monopoly.

Huge insider deal brewing at IDB: Beset by a liquidity crisis at parent company IDB Holding Corp. and at its main holdings subsidiary IDB Development Corp., the latter is planning to sell Clal Insurance – to its own sister company, Koor. The deal is still being thought through and it remains to be seen if the regulators would smile on it, not to mention Koor's bondholders. They might not like the idea. Koor would apparently pay IDB Development about NIS 2 billion cash for the pleasure of taking over Clal Insurance, which would constitute a 17% premium over the insurer's opening share price on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange this Sunday morning. Put otherwise, the group is trying to shove cash up the pyramid structure from the middle level to the top. An IDB spokesman declined to comment.

Customer's foot-dragging costs Ceragon: Ceragon, which makes wireless telecom equipment, caused frowns on the Street on Friday by announcing that in late December, a big client said it would need more time to test equipment supplied by the Israeli company. In other words, because of the client dragging its feet on acceptance, Ceragon can't recognize revenue from said sluggish customer for 2012, but only for this year. The amount in question is some $11 million to $14 million. Including that, analysts had been expecting fourth-quarter sales of around $103 million, in other words about 10% of that just evaporated.

Nasvax raises NIS 4 million: Biotech company Nasvax signed an agreement last Thursday with two groups of investors, who are together ponying up NIS 4 million. Nasvax, which is developing orally administered antibody immunization technology, is allocating 40 million of its shares – 45% of its shareholder equity, or 31% at full dilution – to the two groups. Usually investors spank stocks subjected to such brutal dilution, but in this case, battered Nasvax actually gained 7.3% on Thursday to 13.30 agorot per share, perhaps because the alternative to the cash injection would have been even worse.

With reporting by Avi Bar-Eli, Oren Freund and Yoram Gabison