Business in Brief: TASE CEO Yossi Beinart, on Sick Leave, Expected to Step Down Shortly

Business in Brief: Threat to Nice System’s acquisition of inContact is lifted; Extell bonds drop amid further delays in Manhattan project financing.

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Yossi Beinart at the recently opened new Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, September 2014.
Yossi Beinart at the recently opened new Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, September 2014.Credit: Bloomberg

TASE CEO Yossi Beinart, on sick leave, expected to step down shortly

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange CEO Yossi Beinart has been on sick leave and is expected to step down shortly, sources said Sunday. The TASE would only confirm that he was on leave, saying “Beinart will be absent from his post due to illness and will be devoting all his time to his care and recovery.” In the meantime, Deputy CEO Gal Landau-Yaari will take his place. Beinart took over as CEO more than two and a half years ago after a career in securities-exchange management in the United States. He came in the wake of a management upheaval at the bourse that saw the exits of its previous CEO and chairman and a drop in trading volumes and listings. Beinart has sought to implement changes to the TASE’s structure and regulations, but in recent months he has reportedly clashed with Amnon Neubach, the TASE’s chairman. In addition, labor relations have been sour, with unions refusing to cooperate on a joint venture with New York’s Nasdaq Stock Market. (Shelly Appelberg)

Threat to Nice System’s acquisition of inContact is lifted

A threat to Nice Systems’ $940 million acquisition of the U.S. company inContact appears to have been lifted. InContact told shareholders in a filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission before they vote on the Nice offer of $14 a share that it had received a counteroffer to buy the company but that it was no longer in play. InContact said the company, which it declined to name, first approached it on May 25, just days after the Nice offer was announced, saying that it was interested in acquiring inContact in an all-cash transaction at a price “materially in excess of” $14 a share. More than three weeks of negotiations followed before the unnamed company broke off the talks on June 20, inContact said. The inContact acquisition is important to Nice, which plans to leverage inContact’s customer-service platform to offer a low-cost cloud-computing-based technology, enabling it to sell systems to many more companies and to expand its available market. InContact closed Friday in New York at $13.89 a share. Nice Systems ended down 4.5% in Tel Aviv on Sunday, at 229.90 shekels ($59.15). (Omri Zerachovitz)

Extell bonds drop amid further delays in Manhattan project financing

Extell Limited bonds dropped as much as 3.7% on Sunday after the New York property company said it got a three-month extension to repay a $150 million loan connected to the development of its One Manhattan Square project. The news heightened concerns about the company’s financial health as its plans for getting bank financing for the project, which would be used to repay the loan, have been repeatedly delayed. Extell’s Series Aleph bonds are trading at yields of 15% and its Series Bet bonds at 13.5%, junk levels that signal investor doubts about its ability to repay the debt in full. In addition, the company said it also extended an agreement for another property company, RXR Realty, for a related loan of $394 million to shore up its equity base. It was the second time the agreement has been extended as RXR awaits the bank financing of One Manhattan Square, a $1.3 billion, 80-story apartment tower it is developing in Lower Manhattan for completion in two years. Extell is affected by a softening of the ultraluxury segment of the housing market to which it caters. (Eran Azran)

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