Daily Roundup / Teva Breaks Ground on Indian Plant

Grocers hit by an egg shortage while Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot eyes a conquest in New York.

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Teva's passage to India: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Procter & Gamble Healthcare held the ground-breaking ceremony of their new joint plant in Gujarat on Wednesday. The plant, in which Teva and P&G are investing some $90 million, will make non-prescription, over the counter drugs, including inhalers, syrups and Vicks branded products, both for sale in India and export. Teva Pharm India told the Economic Times of India that construction should take two years. Teva's share in the venture is 49%, P&G's is 51%.

Egg supplies fly the coop: Eggs are running short at stores throughout Israel, at least "regular" eggs. Specialty ova, such as organic and free-range, are being delivered as usual. The problem is mainly winter malaise among Israel's chickens – and partly the disappearance of Yossi Eggs, a major distributor which had its license revoked after being caught smuggling eggs from the West Bank. Yossi Eggs had provided 8% of Israel’s supply. Stores say they're only getting half the number of eggs they ordered, so it can't all be Yossi's fault. Retail mogul Rami Levy says Tnuva, a major fresh-foods provider and the country’s leading egg wholesaler, promises the problem should be solved soon.

Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot looks west: Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot is the latest to nurture visions of foreign conquest, it would seem. Instead of starting from scratch, CEO Eli Yones is proposing to the bank's owners that they simply acquire Discount New York from Bank Discount. DNY is the biggest Israeli-owned bank operating outside the country. While headquartered in New York, the bank provides private banking services to the wealthy in South America and the Cayman Islands as well.

Migdal hiring shareholder's next of kin: The insurance company Migdal will be asking shareholders to approve plush pay packages for the son and brother of controlling shareholder Shlomo Eliahu, who bought a 69% controlling interest in the company last year. Ofer Eliahu, the son, will gross NIS 85,000 a month as deputy CEO of the general insurance company and manager of its property insurance section, Migdal advised the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Brother Eliahu Eliahu will gross NIS 50,000 a month for serving as business director for Migdal's general insurance activity, if the shareholders bite. By the way Shlomo Eliahu himself and his sons Ofer and Israel will also sit on the board of directors, but without remuneration.

IDB would like to use a lifeline: Last Thursday representatives of the IDB group's bondholders met for the first time with envoys of Jewish Argentinian businessman Eduardo Elsztain, who is fondly expected to provide a liquidity lifeline to the cash-strapped Israeli business empire. Meanwhile, it turns out that Bank Leumi has long since sent a delegation to Argentina to inspect assets belonging to the prospective shareholder, and held meetings with Elsztain himself and with his people. Insofar as is known the Leumi jaunt was coordinated with Nochi Dankner, controlling shareholder of the IDB group, who badly wants Elsztain to exercise his option and inject another $75 million into Ganden, the holding company through which Dankner controls IDB. The money would get Elsztain a 21% stake in Ganden, on top of the 10% he bought for NIS 100 million in September 2012.

With reporting by Sivan Aizescu, Michael Rochvarger, Eran Azran

Israeli giant Teva is finding its way in India. Credit: AP
The headquarters of Teva pharmaceuticals.

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