Daily Roundup / Thermoplastics Maker Palram Gets Hot Deal in Germany

Oil Refineries bondholders peeved about assumption of subsidiary's debt; Sapiens resuming dividend payouts to shareholders.

Palram wins giant German deal: Thermoplastics maker Palram won a three-year contract to supply goods to Germany's biggest DIY chain Baumarkt Praktiker, which has more than 300 stores in Germany and 420 throughout Europe and Turkey. Baumarkt Praktiker has procured from Palram's European outfit before, but only minor amounts. The new agreement defines Palram Europe as a key strategic supplier of plastic walls for the German chain; it also gets the right to compete with rival offers Baumarkt Praktiker gets during the contract term.

Oil Refineries bondholders antsy at new debt: Oil Refineries bondholders want clarifications on why the company is undertaking to cover a $500 million debt owed by subsidiary (100%) Carmel Olefins. Of that $500 million, $270 million is owed to Carmel Olefins' own bondholders and the rest is owed to the banks. A meeting has been set between representatives of Oil Refineries and of the company's bondholders at the start of next week. Originally Oil Refineries had thought to resolve these issues by merging with Olefins, but that didn’t work out. Not including that tidy debt racked up by Olefins, Oil Refineries owes $1.5 billion. Oil Refineries is controlled by The Israel Corp.

No talks to sell ICL, says Israel Corp.: Speaking of which, The Israel Corp. denied negotiating to sell another subsidiary, Israel Chemicals, to the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. Nor is there any certainty that such talks will be held in the future, Israel Corp. told the court, in a hearing involving yet another group company – Dead Sea Works. The managers of DSW had motioned the court to void a labor dispute, which had in turn been based on the surmise that Israel Chemicals was being sold to the Potash Corp. The court told Israel Corp. to answer the workers' claims.

Sapiens to pay first dividend in two years: After having its market cap double in the space of two years (mazal tov!), at least in part thanks to acquisitions, software company Sapiens is resuming dividend payouts to shareholders (mazal tov!). The dual-listed company said on Wednesday that it will be paying NIS 22.4 million to shareholders, and while about it presented a $135 million revenue forecast for 2013. Obviously the figure for 2012 isn't in yet, but for 2011 Sapiens reported revenues of $70 million.

Kamor selling shipping ops: Shipping and real estate company Kamor is selling its maritime activities. The company, which is busy hashing out an arrangement with creditors (including bondholders to whom it owes NIS 100 million), says its board has approved commencing negotiations to sell its 50% stake in five bulk cargo ships and 40% stake in the shipping management company. Like other cargo transport companies the world wide, Kamor has been hurt badly by the steep drop in shipping prices, and resultant contraction in the value of its ships. Matters just got worse during the third quarter of 2012, in which Kamor wrote down the value of its five ships by another 15%. It posted a loss of NIS 50 million for the third quarter.

Gilat expanding in Asia: Gilat Satellite Networks will be supplying its SkyAbis mobile communications technology to southeast Asia in partnership with the Chinese giant Huawei. The end client for the cellular backhaul technology is an unnamed southeast Asian carrier which wants to upgrade, while economizing on satellite telecoms capacity: Gilat's technology allocates satellite capacity to each cellular site as and when required, the company explains.

With reporting by Yoram Gabison, Michael Rochvarger and Oren Freund.

Yaron Kaminsky