Daily Roundup / Tiberias Club Hotel Lets Time-sharers Renege

IDB may manage to unload Israeli med-tech company Given Imaging, foreign funds lining up for Ampal Israel debt ahead of bondholder takeover and Elbit Systems wins $35 million unmanned aircraft order from Israeli Defense Ministry.

Tiberias hotel agrees to release 1,200 reluctant time-sharers: The Club Hotel Tiberias has softened its stance and agreed to release 1,200 don't-wanna-be time-sharers who'd been locked into contracts for decades. The club had submitted a proposed arrangement to the Knesset Affairs Committee to form a panel to which time sharers suffering from economic or other special difficulties could apply for release. The panel had strict criteria by which to release time-sharers, for instance disability greater than 65%, dependence on welfare and so on. In principle the Club Hotel limited the number of contract terminations to 800, but received well over 1,200 applications – and decided to honor them.

Permira looking at Given Imaging: The German investment fund Permira is thinking of buying the Israeli med-tech company Given Imaging from the IDB group. IDB bought the controlling interest in Given, which makes noninvasive endoscopic technology, through group companies Discount Investment Corp and Elron. It isn't that IDB is disenchanted with Given, it's that it needs liquidity and put the Yokneam-based pioneer on the block two weeks ago. Discount Investment's 45% stake in the company is worth about $225 million.

Foreign funds eye Ampal debt: With Ampal Israel's bondholders poised to seize control of the company, foreign funds are storming its beaches. One is offering to buy NIS 50 million worth of Ampal's B3 bonds (in par value terms). The bonds have been so battered on the market that they are currently worth NIS 13 million, but in any case the fund would be getting the  bonds for well below their face value. News of the plan sent Ampal bond prices rising 10% on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Sunday, reducing their B3 yields to 83% – which is still in the black heart of junk territory. Ampal B2 shorter-term bonds also rose 10% on Monday, reducing their yields to a heart-stopping 436%. Meanwhile the bondholders reps continue to work on an arrangement for debt and to keep the company alive.

Elbit Systems gets $35 million Israeli order: Elbit Systems won a $35 million contract from the Israeli Defense Ministry to develop advanced features for unmanned aircraft systems. The systems will be supplied within three years, Elbit Systems said. It adds that the deal is in addition to contracts awarded by the Defense Ministry for the supply of Hermes 900 UAS and maintenance services in 2012. 

With reporting by Oren Freund, Yoram Gabison and Reuters

Gil Eliahu