Business in Brief

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Tnuva board approves plan for listing shares

The board of directors of Israel’s biggest food maker, Tnuva, approved a plan Sunday to turn it into a publicly traded company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, despite opposition from its kibbutz shareholders. The board is still deciding between two routes – either an initial public offering, or British private equity fund Apax selling its 56% stake to a third party such as China’s Bright Food. Directors who represent the kibbutzim that retain an 8% stake in Tnuva opposed the plan, while the director representing Mivtah Shamir, a holding company with a 21% stake in Tnuva, abstained. The shares are expected to be sold to the public in May.
 (Michael Rochvarger)

Fidelity boosts stake in Rami Levy

Rami Levy, the controlling shareholder of the discount supermarket chain that bears his name, sold a 1% stake to the giant U.S. mutual fund manager Fidelity at the end of last week. The 27 million shekels ($7.7 million) sale brings Fidelity’s total outlay for Rami Levy shares to about 250 million shekels, giving it a 9.6% stake in the company. Fidelity became a major shareholder in the supermarket chain in April 2013, and has since continued to increase its stake at a time when the shares have risen some 50%. Fidelity paid 199.60 shekels a share for its latest block of stock. Rami Levy closed up 0.7% on the TASE yesterday, at 203.50 shekels. (Eran Azran) 

ICL labor dispute spreads to Dead Sea Works

The Histadrut labor federation yesterday formally declared a labor dispute at plants belonging to Israel Chemicals’ Dead Sea Work unit. The labor dispute, which entitles unions to strike in two weeks’ time, joins similar steps taken at ICL’s Rotem Amfert, Magnesium, Periclase Bromine and transportation units. Workers are fighting cutbacks planned over the next year at ICL, which include layoffs. “We won’t allow the plan to go ahead without negotiations with the Histadrut and workers committees,” said Meir Babioff, Histadrut chairman in the Negev region. ICL shares fell 0.7% to 28.08 shekels on the TASE. (Haim Bior)

Tel Aviv Stocks advance, led by dual-listed shares

Tel Aviv shares rose yesterday, paced by gains for shares dual-listed in Tel Aviv and New York and small-cap shares. The benchmark TA-25 index gained 0.5% to close at 1,330.92, while the broader TA-100 rose 0.7% to 1,226.70, on turnover of just 633.4 million shekels ($181 million). The TA-Midcap 50 index extended its gain, adding 1.1% to 579.03. Bonds prices rose sharply, with the Tel Bond 20, 40 and 60 indices ahead as much as 0.19%. The government’s shekel bond due in 2023 rose 0.44%, to cut its yields to 3.59% while its inflation-linked bond rose 0.5% to a yield of 1.46%. IDB Holding Corporation bonds rose 1.3%, but its share price tumbled another 17.7% yesterday. The rise in dual-listed shares was led by Compugen, up 4.1%; Mazor Robotics’ 3.8% rise; and a 2.8% advance for Pluristem. (Eran Azran)

Tnuva dairy products.Credit: Hagay Frid