Business in Brief: Mystery Investor Takes 10% Stake in Property Company Canada-Israel

Protatix gets $24 million order from Brazil for Gauchers treatment | Tiny Qualitau becomes unlikely battleground for control | Banking, telecom and Teva weigh on Tel Aviv shares

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) building in Tel Aviv.

Mystery investor takes 10% stake in property company Canada-Israel 

A mystery investor from Monaco has become a major shareholder in the property and construction company Canada-Israel in the last few weeks. The company told the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange yesterday that Abraham Ben David Ohayon, who it described as a Swiss national, had acquired a 10% stake from its two controlling shareholders, Barak Rosen and Assaf Tuchmeir, for 70 million shekels ($18.4 million). The purchase was done in two transactions, the second of which was done at 3.50 shekels a share, which is the same price the share closed yesterday after rising 1%. “We’re talking about a real estate person with a lot of money looking for investments in Israel,” one capital markets source, who asked not to be identified, told TheMarker. “He’s an older man, very wealthy but has never lived in Israel.” Canada-Israel recently pulled back from plans for a 100 million-shekel bond sale and is now weighing a share offering instead. (Eran Azran)

Protatix gets $24 million order from Brazil for Gauchers treatment

Protalix got an important boost from the government of Brazil yesterday with an order for what could add up to $24 million in shipments of the company’s alfataliglicerase to treat Gaucher patients. Fundaço Oswaldo Cruz, an arm of the Brazilian Health Ministry, said in a letter it sought three shipments of the drug during 2017 to treat 700 patients who suffer from the rare lysosomal storage disorder. The company estimates total revenues from these shipments to be approximately $24 million, more than three times its $7 million in revenues in the last 12 months. “The anticipated revenues could reduce our cash consumption rate by as much as a third in 2017; if we were to continue to experience increased demand from the Brazilian ministry to the extent indicated in the letter,” said CEO Moshe Manor. Shares of Protalix, which had been down sharply before news of the Brazilian order, closed up 1.35% at 1.28 shekels (34 cents). (Yoram Gabison)

Tiny Qualitau becomes unlikely battleground for control

Qualitau, a tiny maker of testing equipment and services for the semiconductor industry, has become the unlikely battleground for control between its founder and a hedge fund investor. Last week the fund, Guy Equity, won an important victory by winning a shareholders’ vote to name two outside directors to Qualitau’s board. Eliaz Lavi, CEO of Marvell’s Israel subsidiary, and Moshe Eisenberg, chief financial officer of Camtek, are both tech industry veterans that could help build Qualitau’s business, which now generates about $15 million in annual sales and profits in the single millions of dollars in its best years. But Gadi Krieger, the company’s founder who controls a 12% stake, told TheMarker he opposed the appointments. “I don’t think that’s what the company needs [but] they convinced the majority of shareholders and I hopes it’s for the best,” Kreiger said, declining to speculate whether he would be forced out as CEO. Qualitau shares closed up 6.3% at  6.76 shekels ($1.78). (Eran Azran)

Banking, telecom and Teva weigh on Tel Aviv shares

Banking and telecoms shares and Teva Pharmaceuticals led the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange broadly lower yesterday. The blue chip TA-25 index lost 0.55% to 1,455.11 points, while the TA-100 was down 0.6% by closing to 1,271.62, as 1.12 billion shekels ($290 million) in shares changed hands. Teva declined 1.6% to 140.60 shekels and was the most active share of the day by a wide margin. Bank stocks were led lower by a 1.9% drop in Mizrahi Tefahot to 52.60 and a 1.6% decline for Hapoalim to 22.44. Among telecoms shares, Bezeq lost 1.6% to 6.70 and Partner Communications shed 1.4% to 19.08, but SpaceCom jumped 5.5% to 26.25, even though the company released no news during trading, making it the top gainer among TA-100 stocks for the day. Spuntech marked its fourth day of big losses to end down 3.75% to 13.62 on Wednesday. That brought its decline since the start of the week to 10%. (Uri Tomer)