Israel Chemicals Files to List on Wall Street, After Delay

The maker of fertilizer and specialty chemicals filed with U.S. regulators on Friday to list on the NYSE starting September 24, under the symbol ICL.

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Israel Chemicals’ Dead Sea magnesium plant.
Israel Chemicals’ Dead Sea magnesium plant.Credit: Reuters

Israel Chemicals is going through with its plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange, the company announced Friday.

The Tel Aviv-based maker of fertilizer and specialty chemicals filed with U.S. regulators on Friday to list on the NYSE starting September 24, under the symbol ICL.

ICL set a nominal fundraising target of about $522.4 million though an initial public offering of 62 million ordinary shares, it said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That works out to 5.7% of ICL’s shares.

ICL, which has exclusive permits to extract potash and bromine from the Dead Sea, is a subsidiary of Israel Corp and the second largest company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by market value.

The shares are being sold by the parent company and Israel Chemicals will receive no proceeds from the IPO, ICL said in a statement.

ICL was established in 1968 as a government-owned company and was listed on the Tel Aviv exchange in 1992 after the government decided to privatize it.

In 1995, Israel sold its controlling interest to Israel Corp, which now has a 52.4% stake in ICL, making it its largest shareholder.

However, the Israeli government still holds a special state share in ICL, which gives it the authority to decide on any sale or transfer of assets of the company.

The government for months has been looking to update its royalty and tax policy on non-oil and gas natural resources and, in May, a government panel headed by economist Eytan Sheshinski recommended levying a new tax on mining companies. ICL, which would be hit hardest, had said that it could be forced to shift its focus abroad if the recommendations are implemented.

The company had filed a confidential prospectus with U.S. regulators a month ago. Under U.S. rules, companies that meet specific conditions may file a secret draft prospectus in order to test investor interest. The information must be disclosed by the time of the actual offering.

ICL had originally planned to list in New York in July, but delayed in the wake of the Sheshinski plans.

ICL’s sales fell 13% to $1.54 billion in the quarter ending June 30 due to a drop in both selling prices and quantities sold. The company earned an adjusted profit of $214 million for the period, down from $316 million a year earlier.

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan’s Israeli subsidiary holds a 13.86% interest in ICL, making it the second biggest shareholder in the company.

That stake will be unchanged after ICL’s U.S. listing, but Israel Corp’s stake will fall to 46.68%.

Morgan Stanley and Barclays are the lead underwriters for the IPO, ICL said.

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