Business in Brief: Spacecom to Launch Amos 6 Next Month After Two-year Delay

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The 2013 launch of Israel's Amos 4 satellite. Credit: Israel Aircraft Industries

Spacecom to launch Amos 6 next month after two-year delay

After a delay of nearly two years, Spacecom told the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Monday that it would be launching its Amos 6 communications satellite from Florida’s Cape Canaveral the first week of September. The $200 million satellite built by Israel Aerospace Industries will take 11 days after its launch to establish its proper orbit and begin service. It will replace Amos 2, which is due to be retired this year, with double the older’s satellite capacity. Last October 2015, Facebook and satellite fleet operator Eutelsat agreed to pay $95 million over five years to lease broadband capacity on Amos 6 to provide service for Facebook’s and a new Eutelsat subsidiary focusing on African business. A month later, Spacecom lost contact with its Amos 5 satellite, which also was providing services to Africa,  and eventually gave it up for lost. Shares of Spacecom finished up 4% at 39.15 shekels. (TheMarker Staff)

Israeli whistleblower at Deutsche Bank turns down multimillion-dollar reward

Eric Ben Artzi, Sara Netanyahu’s nephew, has refused a multimillion-dollar award from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission he was entitled to after helping expose false accounting at his former employer Deutsche Bank. He told The Financial Times last week that he isn’t taking the money because he thinks the bankers responsible for the malfeasance, should have paid the $55m fine handed out by the SEC, instead of the German bank’s shareholders. “You have bad CEOs everywhere, but as long as you have a functioning justice system, this is going to be corrected somehow,” said Ben Artzi, who now works for a fintech start-up in Herzilya. “But it feels like parts of the legal system in America are driven by money, not justice.” He calculated his half of the $16.5 million payout would have netted more than $3 million after lawyers’ fees and a share due his ex-wife in a divorce settlement. (TheMarker Staff)

888, Rank abandon bid to buy Britain’s William Hill

The British online gambling company 888 Holdings and the casino and bingo hall operator Rank Group abandoned their efforts to take over rival British bookmaker William Hill on Thursday, days after a revised offer was rejected. Rank and 888, which is controlled by Israelis Avi Shaked and the children of his late brother Aaron, had wanted to join up with William Hill to create Britain’s largest multi-channel gambling operator by revenue and profit. But the two companies said in a joint statement they had not been able to make progress with William Hill’s board and did not intend making an offer. William Hill spurned the consortium’s initial 3.16 billion-pound cash-and-shares proposal, saying it substantially undervalued the business, and rejected a revised takeover proposal on Monday. Rank and 888 had estimated that the three-way deal would result in savings of 100 million pounds a year from lower third-party fees and reduced IT spending. 888 shares ended up 4.7% at 215 pence ($2.81). on Friday. (Reuters)

TA-25 gains, despite losses by Teva, banks

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 index ended higher on Sunday after a last-minute spurt, even though Teva Pharmaceuticals and bank shares both weighed heavily on the index. The TA-25  ended 0.15% higher at 1,470.63 points, while the TA-100 added 0.3% to 1,289.64, on very light turnover of just 381 million shekels ($101 million). Volume leader Teva ended down 1.3% at 200.60 while the bank shares index lost 0.8% to 1,375.81. But Mazor Robotics rose 3.6% in heavy trading to finish at 43.53 and Gilat jumped 4% to 18.82. Alrov Real Estate climbed 9.1% to 89.40 after saying it was examining a possible share offering of its Swiss property portfolio. “The [world’s] share markets have risen sharply in the last few weeks, and it appears the positive momentum will continue due to quantitative easing in Europe, Japan’s economic program and record low yields for bonds, which is driving investors into stocks” said the investment house Halman-Aldubi. (Shelly Appelberg)

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