Business in Brief

Africa Israel eyes bond market for first time in 4 years; Wall Street gives last-minute lift to TA-25.

Lev Leviev.
Ofer Vaknin

Africa Israel eyes bond market for first time in 4 years
Africa Israel Investments, Lev Leviev’s property development company, said Monday it would ask bondholders to approve a plan to issue new bonds for the first time since the company underwent a bailout four years ago. Getting approval from bondholders for new debt issues was one of the terms Africa agreed to as part of its 8 billion shekel ($2.3 billion) debt restructuring. The company didn’t say how much it planned to raise, but market sources said it would be around 700 million shekels in a series of new issues. The capital raised would enable the company to stop selling assets to raise capital and improve its liquidity position to finance new projects. Africa shares closed up 2.1%, to 7.04 shekels, in Tel Aviv. (Michael Rochvarger)

Ben-Dov steps down from Partner’s board
Ilan Ben-Dov, the once high-flying telecommunications entrepreneur, on Monday resigned his board seat on Partner Communications, the mobile provider he once owned. “Ben-Dov stated in his notice that the background to his resignation is the recent developments at Scailex and what he defined as severe technical problems regarding the Galaxy 4 handset,” Partner said in a statement, without elaborating. The move caps a stormy period for Scailex, Ben-Dov’s investment vehicle, through which he still retains a minority stake in Partner. Five Scailex directors resigned last week and the company’s comptroller stepped down Monday, saying he could no longer perform his job. Scailex, the Israeli importer of Samsung phones, reported last week that it had been experiencing problems with batteries of Samsung’s Galaxy 4. Scailex shares dropped 1.2%, to 576 agorot, in Tel Aviv Monday. (Shelly Appelberg)

York to raise up to $62.5m for InSightec
York Capital, the U.S. hedge fund that controls Elbit Imaging, is seeking to raise between $50 million and $62.5 million in new capital for Elbit’s InSightec unit, which makes ultrasound technology used to treat tumors. The plan marks a turnaround for InSightec, which was believed ready to shutter after the company ran up $235 million in losses since it was formed in 1999. Under the plan, York will invest $37.5 million, to give it a 16% stake, and an unidentified overseas company will put in another $12.5 million, for 5%. Existing InSightec shareholders, including General Electric and Elbit, will get options to buy another $12.5 million in shares. Elbit Imaging shares closed up 1.8%, at 63 agorot, in Tel Aviv yesterday. (Yoram Gabison)

Hispasat may make low offer for Spacecom
Spanish satellite operator Hispasat is weighing a plan to offer shareholders of Israel’s Spacecom, which operates the Amos satellites, somewhere between 53 shekels and 55 shekels ($15.43 and $16.01) a share for their stock in a tender offer. That would be about the market price for the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange-traded shares in Spacecom, and lower than the 62-63 shekels Hispasat had been offering Spacecom’s biggest shareholder, Eurocom, in a takeover. The new offer would include additional, as yet unspecified, payments over the next three to four years if Spacecom meets certain profitability benchmarks. Shares of Spacecom dropped 4.1%, to 52.93 shekels, in Tel Aviv. (Michael Rochvarger)

Wall Street gives last-minute lift to TA-25
The TA-25 index rallied at the end of trading yesterday, lifted by a higher opening on Wall Street. The benchmark index finished the session up, close to 0.2% at 1,388.27 points, on turnover of 951.2 million shekels ($277 million). The broader TA-1900 was up 0.2% at the finish, at 1,252.95. Gains were led by Discount Investment Corporation, which finished up 5.1%, at 27.43 shekels. B Communications rose 2.9%, to 66.78 shekels, and Paz Oil by 2.7%, to 554.80 shekels, after Meitav DS reported yesterday it had increased its stake to just over 5%. The digital advertising firm Algomizer plunged 14.5%, to 2.29 shekels, after it told the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange its CEO, Noam Band, and CTO, Hila Paz, were disputing development of the company’s product and her employments terms. (Dror Reich)