Business in Brief

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The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Credit: Ofer Vaknin

Stocks drop sharply for second session

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange suffered a second day of big losses as rockets rained down on Israel’s south and the army launched an assault on the Gaza Strip. A second day of declines on Wall Street added to the downward momentum, which was led in Tel Aviv by technology stocks. The TASE’s benchmark TA-25 index ended down 1% at 1,366.02 points, while the TA-100 lost 1.3% to finish at 1,228.78 with brisk trading of 1.43 billion shekels ($420 million). Corporate bonds were also especially weak, with the Tel-Bond 200 index down 0.4% at close to 317.77 points. “We’re seeing nervousness, but it is being expressed mainly in corporate bonds,” said Shay Shemesh, investments manager at Halman Aldubi. “While we saw declines in shares, too, this is connected mainly with the drops in the United States so it’s hard to attribute it to the fighting.” Among the most active shares, Teva Pharmaceuticals dropped 1.6% to 182.80 shekels and Perrigo tumbled 3.78% to 511.60. (Shelly Appelberg)

Matomy completes U.K. IPO after second try

The digital advertising company Matomy completed an initial public offering in London Monday, selling a 20% stake for $70 million. The IPO was priced at 227 pence a share, giving it a market capitalization of 203 million pounds ($345.43 million). It was Matomy’s second attempt at an IPO after an abortive effort in April. “The IPO’s success is an important step in realizing our goal of turning us into one of the leading companies in the digital advertising world based on performance,” said CEO Ofer Drucker. “We were disappointed that we were forced to delay it earlier this year, but managed to complete it successfully [this time] as an expression of confidence in the company and its investors.” Matomy shares rose to 237 pence in their first day of trading yesterday. (Michael Rochvarger)

Shavit wants Apax to invest in Hamashbir

Rami Shavit has approached Apax Partners, the British private equity fund, about taking a stake in his Hamashbir Lazarchan retail group and buying its Neopharm subsidiary. Apax has yet to respond. The move comes four months after an agreement with the American textiles and real-estate company NashOne to invest 135 million shekels ($39.4 million) fell through. Since then, Shavit has sold a 12.6% stake in Hamshbir to ILDC Insurance for 50 million shekels and a 10 million loan, in a deal that represented a steep 44% discount to Hamshbir’s Tel Aviv Stock Exchange market valuation. But Shavit still needs to raise cash to upgrade its existing operations and expand. Shares of Hamshbir fell 0.6% to close at 1.07 shekels in Tel Aviv. (Eran Azran)

Elbit sees non-military device boosting sales

In a departure from its core defense electronics business, Elbit Systems is banking on its new Skylens wearable head-up display for commercial pilots to boost sales. Worn like ski goggles, the device displays high-resolution symbols and video on a transparent visor, allowing pilots to take off and land in fog with less dependence on airport instruments. “Nearly two out of 10 commercial flights are delayed due to weather conditions,” Dror Yahav, vice president of commercial aviation in Elbit’s aerospace division, told a news conference yesterday. Elbit said one of its first customers for the Skylens is France’s Dassault Aviation for its Falcon business jets. Elbit shares rose 0.1% to 204.40 shekels ($39.37) in Tel Aviv. (Reuters) 

Top Image buys U.S. company for $18m

Top Image Systems, a maker of document imaging technology, said yesterday it agreed to acquire eGistics, a closely held provider of cloud-based solutions for the banking and payments market, for about $18 million. Top Image said it would pay 50% of the total in cash and 50% in shares. Top Image CEO Izhak Nakar said Dallas-based EGistics would accelerate expansion in the United States and add an s installed base of major U.S. customers. Four of America’s five top banks use eGistics for document and data management, said Top Image, whose shares were down 2.2% at $4 in early New York trading. (TheMarker).