Business in Brief

Hilan buys Ness Israel for $42 million; Elbit wins its first-ever Philippines contract; Zim bailout plan to be voted on Friday.

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A Zim container ship in Haifa.Credit: Bloomberg

Hilan buys Ness Israel for $42 million

Hilan, which provides payroll and other services to Israeli companies, said on Sunday it was buying Israeli operations from the global information technology company Ness Technologies for $42 million. The acquisition will not include either Ness Israel’s Technology & Services Group, which groups its homeland security operations, or its Swiftness pensions business. Ness Israel employs 2,500 people and had revenues of 170 million shekels in the first quarter, but it has debt of 213 million shekels. The acquisition is the latest in a series by Hilan, which will now be one of Israel’s largest IT businesses, with annual turnover of 1 billion shekels ($290 million) and some 3,000 employees. Shahar Efal, Ness Israel’s CEO since 2008, will be staying on and buying a 10% stake in the company. Hilan shares rose 3% to close at 28.81 shekels in Tel Aviv on Sunday. (Shelly Appelberg)

Elbit wins its first-ever Philippines contract

Elbit Systems, the Haifa-based defense electronics maker, said on Sunday it won its first-ever contract with the Philippines government. The company said the Philippines Armed Forces has awarded it a contract of approximately $20 million for upgraded armored personnel carriers, including 25-millimeter unmanned turrets, 12.7-mm remote-controlled weapon stations and fire control systems for 90-mm turrets. The APCs will be supplied over the next year. “We are very pleased to be awarded our first contract for the Philippines Armed Forces, which we hope will be followed by others,” said Udi Vered, general manager of Elbit Systems’ Land and C4I. “This award further positions us as world leaders in the field of ground vehicle upgrades.” Elbit shares climbed 1.1% to 215.80 shekels ($62.65) in Tel Aviv on Sunday. (TheMarker)

Zim bailout plan to be voted on Friday

The fate of the bailout for Zim Integrated Shipping Services will be decided on Friday as shareholders and bondholders meet to approve a bailout plan. Prospects right now look poor as the treasury took ZIm by surprise last week by announcing it opposed giving up the shares, which entitle it to veto rights over key decisions. It left unclear whether it might agree to modifying the rights the shares entitle it to. Meanwhile Entropy, a consulting company that is advising bondholders how to vote, is reportedly going to recommend against the plan. Entropy doubts that The Israel Corporation, currently Zim’s controlling shareholder, will be able to inject $200 million into Zim required as part of the bailut. (Yoram Gabison)

TASE admitted to European bourse federation

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange becomes an affiliate member of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges as of July 1 after the FESE’s general Assembly unanimously approved the TASE’s application last week. “I believe our FESE membership will contribute to a further progress in the Israeli capital markets. Our membership in FESE is another step in strengthening the ties between the TASE, Israel and the European markets,” said TASE CEO Yossi Beinart. The FESE, which groups 41 stock exchanges in 30 countries, with two observer members, requires member bourses to comply with the stringent disclosure requirements and accounting and auditing standards imposed by European Union laws. Christian Katz, the FESE’s president, called the TASE a “natural bridge between Europe and Asia” that will bring regional experience to the federation. (Eran Azran)

TA-25 squeezes out a rise in very thin trading

The TA-25 index squeezed out a small gain on Sunday after Wall Street hit a new record high over the weekend. The TA-25 and TA-100 indices both rose 0.1% to 1,406.15 and 1,267.67 points, respectively. With traders glued to their TV sets for the World Cup, turnover plunged to 345 million shekels ($100 million). Volume leader Teva Pharmaceuticals fell 0.5% to close at 182.80 shekels after it announced a settlement over a patent dispute with Perrigo and Catalent that gives the two rights to produce Teva’s ProAir inhaler device. Itamar Medical ended up 6.8% to 2.06 shekels after Nihon Kohden, the Japanese medical equipment giant, agreed to distribute Itamar’s EndoPat device in Japan. Textile maker Tefron rose 1.9% to 4.14 shekels after it said it was forming a joint venture with Hong Kong’s Clover Group. A tender off by A. Dori to buy out shares in its A. Dori Construction unit failed, with only 2.6% of A. Dori minority shareholders accepting it. A. Dori fell 0.3% to 1.47 shekels while Dori Construction rose 1.5% to 3.03 shekels. (Eran Azran)

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