Business in Brief: Williger Makes Offer for BSD Shares in Bid to Regain Willi-Food

IAI planning $800 million share sale | Extell gets badly needed relief with loan and deadline extension | Tel Aviv shares shrug off rate-hike delay

At the entrance to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, 2011.
Bloomberg

Williger makes offer for BSD shares in bid to regain Willi-Food

Joseph Williger has fortified his bid to retake control of Willi-Food, the food-importing company his family once controlled, by making a tender offer for a bloc of shares in Willi-Food’s parent company. Williger told the board of London-traded BSD over the weekend that he would offer shareholders 25 pence (33 cents) a share, or 7 million pounds, for between 10% and 23% of BSD, with final terms to be released later. Buying the stock would give him and his brother Zwi as much as 45% of BSD and a leg up on others trying to gain control of Willi-Food through a court-administered sale of BGI, which controls 24% in BSD, slated for September 14. Besides the Willigers, at least four others are competing for BGI’s BSD shares in the auction whose proceeds will be used to repay of $11 million of debts owed by Ukrainian businessman Gregory Gurtovoy, BGI’s controlling shareholder. BSD shares closed at 25 pence on Friday in London. (Eran Azran)

IAI planning $800 million share sale

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, the state-owned weapons manufacturer, will raise as much as $800 million in an initial public offering next year, Ori Yogev, head of the Government Corporations Authority told Bloomberg News in an interview published Sunday. IAI, which just reached a recovery program with unions, is seeking to sell as much as 25% of its shares for trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said Yogev, estimating the company is worth about $3.2 billion. “At this stage we are advancing with IAI’s IPO plans,” he told Bloomberg. The sale would be the largest IPO on Israel’s bourse since Oil Refineries Limited sold $1.5 billion of shares 10 years ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Yogev said IAI had not retained an investment bank to arrange the sale and said it would wait until the savings from the recovery program begin bearing fruit. That program calls for 730 job cuts and will cost between $150 million and $250 million. (TheMarker Staff)

Extell gets badly needed relief with loan and deadline extension

Extell, the New York property developer whose bonds are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said over the weekend that after months of negotiations if had lined up a badly needed loan that could reach as much as $750 million. The loan, being provided by an investment fund called RXR and a consortium of banks led by Deutsche Bank, will be used to finance construction of its One Manhattan Square luxury residential project in lower Manhattan. The news came just days after Extell said its deadline to find financing for Central Park Tower, a $3 billion skyscraper being developed on Manhattan’s West 57th Street, was extended to July 31 from May 24. The extension was critical because under a joint venture agreement Extell signed last month, China’s SMI USA could have required Extell to buy out its $300 million stake in the partnership or sell the project altogether. Extell bonds rose 2.5% on Sunday, extending a 3.5% gain on Thursday. (Eran Azran)

Tel Aviv shares shrug off rate-hike delay 

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed lower on Sunday, shrugging off a U.S. jobs report over the weekend that reduced fears of an imminent interest rate hike and sent overseas shares higher. The TA-25 and TA-100 indices ended down 0.1% to 1,443.48 and 1,265.55 points, respectively, on very low turnover of 393.5 million shekels ($104.7 million). Spacecom shares were the most active stock of the day, losing a third of their value (see story on this page). Biomed and drug stocks were also lower, with Mylan losing 4.4% to 151.20 shekels, Mannkind falling 4.6% to 2.76 and Mazor Robotics dropping 3.5% to 40.28. But Teva Pharmaceuticals ended ahead 1.3% at 192.20. Cellular shares were higher, too, with Cellcom Israel ending up 4.2% at 28.59 and Partner Communications ahead 2% at 18.23. Hamashbir 365 edged up 0.04% to 2.65. Perion Network jumped 4.5% to 5% after Robert Leitz of Iolite Partners became the second shareholder to call for CEO Joseph Mandelbaum to step down. (Guy Erez)