Leadcom Sold to U.S. Company for $32m in Court Auction

U.S. Supreme Court fails to act on Teva Copaxone appeal; Rami Levy reports sharp rise in fourth-quarter sales; Tamar partners had $1 billion in revenues for 2013.

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A branch of Rami Levi.
A branch of Rami Levi. Credit: Daniel Bar-On

LCC, a U.S. company that builds wireless communications networks, was the winner of a court-ordered sale of Israel’s Leadcom with a bid of $32.2 million. LCC also agreed to pay another $300,000 in the event it floats shares in the Israeli company, which went bankrupt four years ago. The auction saw the bids offered for Leadcom jump by about $10 million as LCC vied with a combined bid by the Israeli company Ituran and Hil Investments and a third by the Israeli private equity fund Fortissimo. Fortissimo offered $31 million for Leadcom in the final round of bidding while the Ituran/Hil group offered $32.3 million plus Ituran shares worth about $15 million. The group may appeal the decision to the court on the grounds that its bid was higher. (Shelly Appelberg)

U.S. Supreme Court fails to act on Teva Copaxone appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday for the second time did not announce whether it would hear an appeal by Teva Pharmaceuticals in a patent fight with generic competitors over its top-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone. The nine justices are considering whether to review a July 2013 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in favor of two cheaper generic forms of Copaxone by Novartis AG’s Sandoz together with Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Mylan jointly with Natco Pharma. The case is closely watched because, if the court declines to take it, cheaper versions of the drug Copaxone could go on the market as soon as May. The Supreme Court was first scheduled to act on the case on March 10. On Monday, the case was again absent from the list of cases on which the court took action. Teva shares rose 1.1% to close at 171.40 shekels ($49.11) in Tel Aviv. (Reuters)

Rami Levy reports sharp rise in fourth-quarter sales

Rami Levy, the discount supermarket chain, saw its net profit soar in the final quarter of 2013 as it added new stores and kept costs down. The retailer reported on Tuesday that net for the fourth quarter climbed 23.7% from a year ago to 30.8 million shekels ($8.8 million) as sales grew 18.6% to 824.7 million shekels. Rami Levy added three more branches but even discounting for that same-store sales were up 4% year on year, the company said. Its operating margin widened to 3.98% from 3.38% a year ago. Rami Levy’s bigger rival Super-Sol posted a 39% rise in fourth quarter net last month as sales rose 4% to 2.94 billion shekels. Shares of Rami Levy finished up 1.1% at 194.90 shekels ($55.85). (Yoram Gabison)

Tamar partners had $1 billion in revenues for 2013

Since it came on line last March, Tamar, one of the largest natural gas fields discovered anywhere in the world in the last decade, has delivered some 6.4 billion cubic meters of gas to Israeli customers along with some 250,000 barrels of gas condensates. Two thirds of Tamar’s sales were to Israel Electric Corporation and another 14% went to the Oil Refineries Limited. All told, the partners in Tamar, Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group, Noble Energy, Isramco and Dor Oil Exploration, saw revenues of $1 billion after paying royalties to the state and other parties but before taxes. The government received $117 million in royalties. (Eran Azran)

1,400-mark eludes TA-25 index for a second day

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index closed higher but for a second day failed to stay above 1,400 points before the closing bell. The benchmark index finished the day at 1,396.10, a gain of 0.9% for the session while the TA-100 added 0.8% to close at 1.284.21. Shares were broadly higher on turnover of 1.41 billion shekels ($404 million). Electra led the gainers on the TA-100, advancing 5.4% to 55.9 shekels as it reported a 41% rise in 2013 net profit and said it would pay a 70 million-shekel divided. Parent company Elco was not far behind with a 3% rise to 49.07 shekels. In the fixed-income market, the government’s 10-year shekel bond rose 0.21% to cut its yield to 3.15% a day after the Bank of Israel said it was holding its lending rate unchanged at 0.75% for April.

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