Business in Brief

Ofer Vaknin

Strauss nominates new CEO for coffee unit

Strauss Group’s board approved on Thursday the appointment of Tomer Harpaz as CEO of Strauss Coffee, a joint venture with the U.S. private equity firm TPG. Harpaz had been interim CEO since January, when shareholders voted to fire CEO Todd Morgan. TPG, which holds 25% of Strauss Coffee, asked a Dutch court to order an inquiry into the firing, claiming Strauss Group had abused its rights as majority shareholder, but the court dismissed the suit. The appointment of Harpaz, who had been executive VP for business development and strategy in Strauss Group and a director of Strauss Coffee, will be put to a shareholders vote on June 23. Shares of Strauss rose 1.6% to finish at 68.60 shekels ($19.74) in Tel Aviv. (TheMarker Staff)

Verint shares rally on earnings upgrade

Shares of Verint Systems soared in New York on Thursday, after the maker of data analysis software said it was revising sales and earnings higher. For the year, the company said it expects sales to be $30 million higher than previously forecast, at a range of $1.11 billion to $1.16 billion. Verint said it was also raising its diluted earnings per share guidance by 10 cents to a range of $3.30 to $3.50. For the first quarter, the company reported that its non-GAAP net profit jumped more than 70% to $39.5 million, or 72 cents a share, from $23.2 million, or 44 cents, a year earlier, and revenues climbed nearly 26% to $257.4 million. “Customer reaction to our combination with Kana has been very positive,” said Verint CEO Dan Bodner, referring to Verint’s $514 million purchase of Kana Software in January. Verint was up 10.4% at $51.56 at noon local time. (TheMarker Staff)

Inrom raises 355 million shekels in IPO

The private equity fund FIMI sold off a 44% stake in the building materials maker Inrom Industries for 355 million shekels ($102.1 million) in the biggest initial public offering of the year completed this week. The shares were sold at 320 shekels each. FIMI already earned back its original investment dating from 2008 in the form of dividends and management fees, so the proceeds represent pure profit for the fund, which is managed by Ishay Davidi. All told, FIMI stands to earn as much as 1.5 billion shekels from Inrom, both from selling the remaining shares in the company in the future and selling parts of the company that were split off. (Michael Rochvarger)

Phoenix admits CEO’s pay plan broke rules

Phoenix Holdings, the insurance and financial services company, admitted on Thursday for the first time that the compensation it is paying CEO Eyal Lapidot failed to meet the new criteria set by Dorit Salinger, the treasury’s supervisor of capital markets, insurance and savings. Lapidot was entitled to 41 million shekels ($11.8 million) over the next four years under terms approved by Phoenix’s board, most of it in the form of stock. Salinger objected to the fact that Lapidot’s compensation starting in 2015 isn’t linked to the performance of the compan’s financial portfolio, as is required under new directives. Phoenix shares closed up 0.5% to 12.59 shekels in Tel Aviv. (Meirav Arlosoroff)

Tel Aviv shares finish holiday week mixed

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange returned from the two-day Shavuot break Thursday to end mixed. The benchmark TA-25 index closed up 0.2% at 1,400.41 points; the TA-100 was almost unchanged at 1,259.84. Turnover was a rather brisk 1.2 billion shekels ($350 million). Despite Thursday’s uninspired performance, the TA-25 was up 0.5% for the holiday-shortened week, bringing its year-to-date gain to 5.3%. The TA-100 added 0.2% and is up 4.3% for the year so far. Rami Levy led the TA-100 higher, gaining 4.2% to close at 182.20 shekels. The grocery chain declared a 1.56-shekel dividend for those holding the shares June 10. Teva Pharmaceuticals, which announced over the holiday it was buying Labrys Biologics in a deal that could reach $800 million, closed down 0.9% at 175 shekels. (Dror Reich)