Business in Brief: Babylon Sells Its Translation Business

Wall Street gives Tel Aviv-25 11th-hour lift.

Ofer Vaknin

Foamix raises disappointing $40m in Wall Street IPO

Foamix Pharmaceuticals, a developer of treatments for acne and other skin conditions, raised $40 million in an initial public offering in New York on Thursday, far below the $75 million it had targeted. However, in Nasdaq trading the shares were soaring, up more than 17% to $7.09 by midday local time. The company sold 6.7 million ordinary shares priced at $6 each, through underwriters retain an option to sell as many as 1.005 million more over the next 30 days. Foamix has earmarked the proceeds, all of which are going into the company, to fund Phase III trials of its FMX101 drug for acne and its FMX102 impetigo treatment, both based on proprietary technology that the company says offers improved convenience, higher compliance and better efficacy. Foamix had planned to spend another $5 million on mid-stage studies on treatments for rashes and rosacea, but may now not be able to do that. (TheMarker)

Babylon sells its translation business

Babylon said on Thursday it was selling its translation business – where the company got its start years ago – to its founder Amnon Ovadia. Babylon, which under its current controlling shareholder Noam Lanir now develops and markets free Internet software distributed through toolbars, said Ovadia would pay $2.5 million for the business, which also includes data-retrieval technology for companies. Ovadia will be able to use the Babylon name for his translation software in exchange for future royalties. Thirty Babylon employees will move over to Ovadia’s company. Shares of Babylon, which have sunk as the company copes with the loss almost a year ago of Google as a partner in its toolbar business, ended down 3% at 2.52 shekels (69 cents) in Tel Aviv. (Shelly Appelberg)

Wall Street gives TA-25 11th-hour lift

The TA-25 ended the week with a bang, turning sharply higher in the final two hours of trading on Thursday, as Wall Street opened to record highs. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange benchmark index also posted an all-time high for the third session running, finishing up 0.55% at 1,446.96 points. The TA-100 rose close to 0.6% to 1,301.79 as a heavy 1.23 billion shekels ($340 million) in shares changed hands. Bank shares were up strongly, with Hapoalim adding 1.5% to 20.69 shekels and Leumi 1.3% to 14.62. Compugen led TA-100 shares higher, advancing 5.6% to 33.60 shekels, but Perion Network slumped 4.8% to 23.09 after Reuters scotched an earlier report that the company was up for sale. Gilat Satellite Networks ended up 3.4% at 18.49 shekels after the FIMI private equity fund said it would make a general offer for 12% of the company at $4.95 each, a slight premium on the market price. (Dror Reich)