Business in Brief

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Makhteshim Agan to make private bond offering

Newly renamed Adama Agricultural Systems, formerly Makhteshim Agan, will make a private bond issue of up to 550 million shekels of its Series D bonds, which are listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The unlinked bonds are due in November 2016 and have a duration of 1.74 years and a yield of 2.25% - and the new offering will be at exactly the same terms as the publically traded bonds. . Adama plans on holding a tender for the offering.
(Yoram Gabison)

Given Imaging receives FDA approval for colon camera pill

Camera-in-a-pill maker Given Imaging said on Monday it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for a pill to provide visualization of the colon., which represents a potential global market of 3 million procedures a year. The pill, called the PillCam Colon, may be used for detection of colon polyps in patients after an incomplete optical colonoscopy, the Israeli medical device maker said. There are 750,000 patients in the United States alone who experience an incomplete colonoscopy each year, and they often incur additional costs, along with the inconvenience and risk associated with other procedures to complete the colorectal examination. In December 2013, medical device maker Covidien said it would acquire Given Imaging for $860 million. The transaction is expected to be completed by March 31. (Yoram Gabison and Reuters)

Public moves 5 billion shekels into traditional mutual funds in January

January is usually considered a good month for the stock market, but the January Effect was not particularly effective in 2014 and the leading indexes in Tel Aviv were down slightly. But despite the losses, the public returned to the stock market and this is best seen in a 5 billion shekel inflow into traditional mutual funds, a 70% jump compared to January 2013. It seems investment advisors n the banks are responsible for most of the flow, and advised clients to reduce their risk. 2.7 billion shekels went into funds specializing in general bond funds, with a mix of bonds and stock; 750 million went into government bond funds in January; and another 750 million shekels for stock funds investing in Israel and abroad. Money market funds did less well.
(Assa Sasson and Dror Reich)

Mazor sells another robot surgical system to Texas hospital

Mazor Robotics, which makes robotic guidance systems for spinal surgery, announced Monday it has sold a second Renaissance Guidance system to Westside Surgical Hospital in Houston, Texas. This represents the third Renaissance system in the Houston area and eighth Renaissance system in the state of Texas. “The success of the Renaissance system, which is supported by the number of procedures performed and the business and clinical benefits, is driving increased interest from surgeons and hospital administrators,” commented Ori Hadomi, Mazor’s CEO. “Furthermore, in choosing to add a second system for clinical and training purposes, Westside Surgical sees the future value of Renaissance as it seeks to enhance and broaden surgeon participation.” (TheMarker)

Golf and Co CEO leaving after 10 years 

Ilana Kaufman, the CEO of Golf and Co, announced she is leaving the fashion firm after almost 10 years at the helm. The financial terms of her leaving have yet to be finalized. Kaufman, 64, transformed Golf, part of the Clal Industries group, into a profitable firm with strong cash flows and generous dividends, a very important consideration for the what was formerly Nochi Dankner's IDB group, which previously controlled Clal Industries. Golf has distributed 585 million shekels in dividends since June 2004 under Kaufman - while the company's is presently valued at only 475 million shekels. Golf shares have lagged other Israeli fashion firms in recent years, as well as the Mid-Cap 50 Index. Kaufman received total compensation in 2012 of 2.6 million shekels, 1.9 million shekels of which was salary and the remainder was a bonus. (Yoram Gabison) 

The Adama plant in the Negev.