The Ticker/ TowerJazz Agrees to Buy Texas Plant

El Al net rises on travel rebound, cheaper fuel; Melisron profits soar; Bourse to get its first tech IPO of 2015; Wall Street gives Tel Aviv shares late boost

TowerJazz chip-fabrication plant.
TowerJazz

TowerJazz agrees to buy Texas plant

Chip maker TowerJazz said Wednesday it had agreed to buy a factory in San Antonio, Texas, from Maxim Integrated Products for $40 million in stock. The company said the eight-inch wafer fabrication plant will expand TowerJazz’s worldwide manufacturing capacity by approximately 28,000 wafers per month.

As part of the agreement, TowerJazz said it would make products for Maxim in the San Antonio facility. “It will provide a quick solution for our significantly growing customer demand, while gaining additional high quality manufacturing capabilities and global flexibility,” said Itzhak Edrei, TowerJazz’s president.

All of the site’s nearly 500 employees will be retained, said TowerJazz, whose shares ended up 4.4% at 62 shekels ($15.88). (Omri Zerachovitz)

El Al net rises on travel rebound, cheaper fuel

El Al Airlines reported Wednesday a sharp rise in quarterly profit, boosted by lower fuel costs and a recovery in passenger traffic after travel to Israel was hurt a year early by the Gaza war. Israel’s flagship carrier earned $93 million in the third quarter, up from $10.1 million a year earlier. Revenue grew 7.7% to $647.3 million as the number of tourists coming to Israel rose 36%.

Operating costs dipped 12% to $438.5 million, with fuel prices sliding by a third to $68.1 million while operating profit jumped more than fivefold to $133 million. Last month, El Al signed a deal to buy or lease 15 Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliner planes in a deal worth more than $2.2 billion, its largest-ever aircraft deal. El Al shares fell 2.5% to close at 2.08 shekels (53 cents).  (Shelly Appelberg)

Melisron profits soar; director resigns

Melisron, one of Israel’s biggest mall owners reported Wednesday a big jump in its third-quarter profits, but the good news was clouded by the surprise resignation of an outside director protesting the treatment of a fellow director.

The company said net profit attributable to shareholders rose 30% from a year ago to 111 million shekels ($28.4 million). Rental income was steady at 327 million shekels, but it cut operating costs by 7% to 97 million shekels and revised the value of its holds up by 24 million.

Meanwhile, Alona Bar-On, quit to protest controlling shareholder Leora Ofer’s decision not to ask shareholders to approve another term for another director, Ron Belnikov. Bar-On said  Belnikov was denied renomination because he opposed Ofer’s plan to increase pay for Melisron’s CEO. Shares of Melisron, which denied there was any connection, ended down 0.45% at 133.20 shekels. (Shelly Appelberg)

Bourse to get its first tech IPO of 2015

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, which has been trying to lure tech companies, is due to get its first tech initial public offering of the year next week. The cybersecurity startup Safe-T filed late on Tuesday a prospectus to raise 22 million shekels ($5.6 million) together with one-year warrants that, if exercised, will raise another 26.2 million shekels.

The company had planned to go public at a $70 million valuation, but settled for just $36 million before the money. While Israel has a thriving cybersecurity industry, companies like CyberArk have opted for Wall Street over Tel Aviv.

But Shar Daniel, Safe-T’s CEO, said he was confident that the TASE would serve his company’s needs. “We believe an offering in Tel Aviv will prove itself and in the next stage we plan to go public on the Nasdaq,” he said. Safe-T said the proceeds will help cover costs before it reaches profitability in 2018. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Wall Street gives Tel Aviv shares late boost

Boosted by Wall Street futures, Tel Aviv shares turned higher yesterday. The benchmark TA-25 index finished up 0.7% at 1,569.26 points while the TA-100 added 0.6% to 1,359.20. Turnover was 1.23 billion shekels ($320 million).

Bezeq led the most actives, ending up 1.2% at 8.64 while IDB Development Corp. was the biggest gainer in the TA-100, up  9.3% to 2.51. Israel Chemicals lost 1.65% to 1973. Azrieli Group rose 1.45% to 150.30 on improved third-quarter results. The government’s 10-year shekel bond fell 0.18% to leave its yield at 2.18%. (Eran Azran)