Business in Brief: Williger Brothers Back in Control of Food Importer Willi Food

Globus Max cinema chain expected to seek protection from creditors Tuesday; Proxy firm advises shareholders to vote out Mylan directors; Tel Aviv shares end broadly lower

Stock prices flash on an electronic screen displaying world clocks at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.
Bloomberg

Williger brothers back in control of food importer Willi Food

Three years after they sold it, the Williger brothers were back in control of Willi Food on Monday after shareholders approved their slate of directors despite a recommendation not to by shareholder adviser Entropy. The vote marks the end of an 18-month battle by the family to regain control of the food-importing business from Ukrainian oligarch Gregory Gurtovoy, who is being investigated by the Israel Securities Authority mainly in connection with Willi Food’s parent companies BGI and BSD Crown. “Our plan is to return to Willi Food and get it back in order – to see what’s been happening there,” Zwi Williger told TheMarker. “We’ve appointed a new board, who will look at the current management and the company and what’s been happening at the company We will examine if there are still any other problematic things We know that $3 million was stolen.” Willi Food shares ended 2.5% higher at 17.74 shekels ($5.02). (Eran Azran)

Globus Max cinema chain expected to seek protection from creditors Tuesday

The cinema chain Globus Max is expected to file for protection from creditors on Tuesday. Lawyers were reportedly preparing the petition late on Monday amid severe cash flow problems caused by debt to employees, banks and other financial institutions estimated to be in the tens of millions of shekels. The final straw appears to have been salaries, which as of Monday had not been paid. “Until now salaries had never been paid late. Employees had expected to be paid on time, that is, by last Thursday,” said attorney Havit Greenberg, who is representing them. “On Sunday they were informed by management that it was technical but critical, a cash flow problem.” The chain was founded by Yoram Globus, who was a leading film producer in Israel and the U.S. in his heyday but in recent years has run into financial difficulties and its assets sold in 2014 to a U.S. investor group led by Bennett Kaplan. (Nati Tucker)

Proxy firm advises shareholders to vote out Mylan directors

Influential proxy firm ISS on Monday advised voting out the incumbent board of directors at Mylan, the U.S. generic drug maker traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. ISS said the board should be held responsible for reputational damage over drug-pricing issues and the chairman’s pay package. Its recommendation comes ahead of a shareholder meeting on June 22 and after a small group of high-profile investors, including the state and city of New York pension funds and the California teachers’ pension fund, urged other shareholders to vote against six board members and chairman Robert Coury. A Mylan spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. Mylan is under investigation by regulators and the Justice Department after it increased the price of its life-saving allergy treatment EpiPen to more than $600. The government said last fall Mylan had wrongly classified the drug and was overcharging the Medicaid program. Mylan shares ended down 1.1% at 139.70 shekels ($39.51). (Reuters).

Tel Aviv shares end broadly lower

Tel Aviv shares ended broadly lower on Monday, with no sector escaping the decline. The blue chip TA-35 index dropped 0.5% to end at 1,420.63 points, while the TA-125 lost more than 0.8% to 1,280.33, on turnover of 1.38 billion shekels ($390 million). Among the biggest losers, Partner Communications ended down 4.1% at 19.17 shekels a day after it said it was weighing a 200 million shekel share offer. SodaStream dropped 5.2% to 176.50 and Mannkind 5.9% to 5.19. Paz Oil rose 3.1% to 604.50 after reporting that a strike that began on Sunday ended. Perrigo gained 2.7% to 257.30. Alon Gas fell 0.75% to 78.10 after saying it may take a 30% stake in a group bidding for an unspecified U.S. energy asset. Kardan Enterprises on Monday offered to buy out shareholders in its Kardan Israel unit and take it private to meet with the terms of the Business Concentration Law. Kardan Enterprises dropped 1.1% to close at 1.54. (Guy Erez)