Business in Brief / Itamar Medical Undecided on U.S. IPO

Elsztain snaps up rights to IDB shares; TA-25 index moves sideways.

Reuters

Elsztain snaps up rights to IDB shares

Eduardo Elsztain spent 134 million shekels ($34.6 million) buying rights to IDB Development Corporation stock in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange trading on Thursday, on top of the 256 million he was entitled to as a shareholder as part of the company’s rights offering. All told, Elsztain – one of the conglomerate’s two controlling shareholders – bought 2.048 million of the 2.2 million rights being offered, for a total of 390 million shekels. That was 10 million shekels short of the 400 million shekels IDB hoped to raise from the right issue, but Elsztain may be granted the right to top up his purchases. Under the terms of the rights issue, IDB shareholders have until tomorrow to decide if they want to buy IDB shares for 1.50 shekels each, with the right to buy more IDB shares in the future. Elsztain’s partner, Moti Ben-Moshe, opted out of participating in the issue, but insists he maintains the right to decide to take the shares anytime until tomorrow – a move that would enable him to retain his 31.2% stake in the company. IDB shares closed up 1.6% at 1.27 shekels yesterday. (Michael Rochvarger)

Itamar Medical undecided on U.S. IPO

Itamar Medical, which makes noninvasive devices for monitoring cardiovascular activity and sleep disorders, yesterday squelched rumors it was readying to raises tens of millions of dollars in the United States by dual-listing its shares on the Nasdaq. The company told the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange it had not decided on going ahead with the offering. “Itamar Medical is exploring various ways of accelerating the financing of its strategic plan and increasing sales, including a preliminary look at a U.S. offering,” it said. “As of now, the company hasn’t made any decision on an offering, and we cannot be certain any such offering in the United States will take place.” Last year, the company signed three distribution agreements with Philips of Europe, Japan’s Nihon Kohden and the U.S.’ Medtronic. Itamar shares, which trades on the TASE at just a 340 million shekels ($87.3 million) market cap, rose 2.1% to 1.87 shekels. (Dror Reich)

Azrieli draws NIS 3.1b in orders for bonds

Azrieli Group, Israel’s biggest mall operator, said yesterday it raised 615 million shekels ($159 million) in a bond offering to institutional investors, which drew a flood of orders that reached 3.1 billion shekels. It was the company’s first financing round since its initial public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange five years ago, and the 5-1/2-year bonds will pay interest of 0.65%. “The highly successful completion of the institutional stage attests to the capital market’s faith in the company, and will allow a further reduction of the financing costs,” said CEO Yuval Bronstein. The company aims to raise the rest of the 700 million shekels in debt in a sale of bonds to the public today. Shares of Azrieli rose 0.5% to close at 145.30 shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

TA-25 index moves sideways

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index traded sideways all day yesterday to end barely changed, although mid-capitalization stocks did better. The benchmark index edged up just 0.04%, to end at 1,461.98 points, while the TA-100 added close to 0.4% to 1,286.90, on turnover of 539 million shekels ($139.3 million). Alon Blue Square Real Estate rose 3% to 10.51 shekels and led the most actives for the day. TheMarker learned that Alon Blue Square had sold a block of shares equal to 5% of the property company, reducing its stake to 65.4%. Other big gainers included Teva Pharmaceuticals, which rose 1.6% to 225.90 shekels, and EZChip, which gained 5.2% to 77 shekels, but Perrigo lost 2.7% to end at 581.10 shekels. Most of the market was higher, but banks and telecoms shares were both lower for the day. On Friday, the dollar extended its slump against the shekel, weakening 0.15% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.8690. (Dror Reich)