Summer seems more the time to swim in the sultry sea, becoming one with the mermaids, or jellyfish if you're not the romantic type. Judging by the action it seems less a season for investing in startups. Yet some business goes on despite the summer heat - that's what air conditioners are for – except at Alvarion, for one. Read on.
- El Al aims to cut payroll costs by $22.5 million in talks with union
- Alvarion readying for breakup, say market sources
- Market report / Hapoalim, Bezeq lead TA-25 higher
- Tech roundup / Cisco pledges to boost Israeli Arabs in high-tech
It's all over for Alvarion, it would seem: Even its own board has given up. On Sunday the directors of the communication technology company said they wouldn't buck at the request, filed by Silicon Valley Bank in Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday, to have a receiver appointed to Alvarion that will enforce liens on the loans the bank had lent it. This year Alvarion stock has lost more than 90% of its value. Meanwhile a group of Alvarion employees is also suing to have a receiver appointed, claiming they're owed money too.
FIMI extends option to buy El Al: The mezzanine fund FIMI has extended its option to buy a controlling interest in El Al Israel Airlines by 45 days, to August 29. By then the negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement at the airline need to be wrapped up, FIMI clarifies. Some progress has been noted, but it's been slow, the fund intimated. If the employment contract is to its liking, FIMI is prepared to fork over $50 million for 38% of the airline's stock, plus options in two tranches that would increase its stake to 47%.
Redhill to file antinausea drug with FDA: RedHill Biopharma, which is dual-listed in Tel Aviv and New York, said it expects to file for FDA approval of its slow-release drug against nausea among cancer sufferers, RHB-102, during the first quarter of 2014. The patent-protected drug is administered orally. The active ingredient in the Israeli drug is ondasteron, which is the same as in GSK's drug Zofran. Redhill has begun the first of two sets of pharmakinetic testing, which checks the level of the active ingredient in the blood, its dispersion in the body and so on.
RedHill Biopharma (NASDAQ: RDHL; TASE: RDHL)
Re-Sec raises money: Re-Sec has completed a $750,000 funding round, the Israeli startup said on Sunday. The company is the proud parent of MachineSafe, a modular enterprise system to defend against cyber threats at multiple layers, including the latest nasties such as Advanced Persistent Threats and "Zero Day" attacks. Put another way, the system helps control the flow of information into the enterprise.
EMC buying another Israeli startup for top dollar: U.S. data-storage company EMC Corporation said Thursday it had agreed to acquire ScaleIO, a startup that makes server-side storage software. For how much? Nobody's saying on record but leaks put the price anywhere from $200 million to $300 million, a handsome sum by any criteria.
The deal will be EMC's second acquisition in Israel in just over a year, following the purchase of flash storage firm XtremeIO for $430 million in May 2012. ScaleIO, whose software helps businesses create a virtual pool of server-based storage by combining resources from solid-state drives, PCIe flash cards and old-school hard drives, will be merged into EMC's Flash Products Division.
Israel Electric Corp raises money for super-speed Internet: On Thursday Israel's notoriously inefficient national power company, the Israel Electric Corp, announced closing the funding needed for its ultra-high-speed fiber optic network, to be constructed along the existing power grid. The IEC itself constitutes 40% of the venture, the company said; half of the remaining 60% belongs to Viaeuropa. Other partners are Zisapel Assets (the Zisepal brothers of tech fame), Rapac, Tamares (Poju Zabludowicz) and BATM Advanced Communications. The IEC network is supposed to compete with Bezeq and HOT.
Cisco's there too: We point out that in June, Haaretz reported that Cisco Systems, yes, that one, is providing $140 million in supplier's credit to the Israel Electric Corp fast-Internet venture, based on a Bloomberg report. Total investment in the project is expected to reach about $1.4 billion. Part of the funding will be coming from the state.
With reporting by Yoram Gabison and Amitai Ziv.