Business in Brief: Delek Drilling Slates Shareholders Vote on Buying Rights to Gas Pipeline

Internet Gold conducting NIS 100 million offering of shares, warrants ■ Nano Dimension shares soar after U.S. names company an approved vendor ■ Analyst: Hapoalim penalty in U.S. tax probe could reach $600 million

Israeli gas platforms, controlled by U.S.-Israeli energy group Noble and Delek, are seen in the Mediterranean sea, some 15 miles (24 km) west of Israel's port city of Ashdod, in this file picture taken February 25, 2013.
REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File

Delek Drilling slates shareholders vote on buying rights to gas pipeline

Delek Drilling said on Monday it was moving forward with plans to buy rights to use the pipeline once used to import Egyptian natural gas to Israel to export gas from Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar fields to Egypt. The company said shareholders to would be asked July 1 to approve a $200 million allocation for buying the rights from East Mediterranean Gas, which owns the now defunct pipeline between Israel and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Shareholders will also be asked to approve suspension of dividend payments to cover the cost. Delek said the other Tamar and Leviathan partners would be recruited to join in the undertaking. The deal comes after Delek and Texas-based Noble Energy, the lead partners in the two fields, signed agreements in February with Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings to sell it $15 billion of gas and shortly afterward began talks on pipeline rights. Delek Drilling shares ended 2.45% up at 10.45 shekels ($2.92). (Jasmin Gueta and Ora Coren)

Internet Gold conducting NIS 100 million offering of shares, warrants

Taking advantage of a double-digit run-up in its share prices the day before, Internet Gold conducted a private placement of shares and warrants on Monday to raise up to 100 million shekels ($28 million) of badly needed capital. The company’s shares soared nearly 16% on Sunday after it reported that it had been approached by various unnamed groups to sell all or part of its 65% stake in B Communications, the controlling shareholder of Bezeq, Israel’s biggest telecoms operator. Monday’s offering is for four million shares priced at 7 shekels each, a 30% discount on its Tel Aviv Stock Exchange price, as well as warrants that can be exercised at 11 shekels up to July 30, 2019.  Internet Gold’s bank shareholders will be buying into the offering in order to prevent their 55% stake from being diluted.  Proceeds will go to helping Internet Gold meet a 150 million shekel payment to bondholders next year. (Michael Rochvarger)

Nano Dimension shares soar after U.S. names company an approved vendor

Shares of Nano Dimension soared on Monday after the Israeli maker of 3D printers used to manufacture sophisticated electronics said its U.S. unit had been designated a registered and approved vendor by the U.S. government. Getting a Commercial and Government Entity, or CAGE, code from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency will make it easier for Nano Dimensions to conduct business directly with the U.S. government, including the Department of Homeland Security and Defense Department. 

“Receiving a CAGE code is a critical step in affirming Nano Dimension’s position in the United States,” said CEO Amit Dror. In addition, the company said it sold a second DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D Printer to a U.S. company that it declined to identify, but said was among the top 10 U.S. defense contractors.  Shares of Nano Dimension, which slumped 90% after its initial public offering three years ago, ended up 76.8% at 1.98 shekels (55 cents). (Guy Erez)

Analyst: Hapoalim penalty in U.S. tax probe could reach $600 million

Bank Hapoalim is likely to face penalties of $500 million to $600 million for allegedly aiding clients in evading U.S. taxes,  Alon Glazer, vice president for research at Leader Capital Markets, said in a note to investors on Monday. That would make the size of the penalty far higher than the $400 million rival Bank Leumi paid in a December 2014 settlement with U.S. and New York State authorities on similar charges. “It’s important to remember that most of the money ($365 million) has already been set aside , so the additional cost of the fine is expected to be between $100 million and $200 million, in other words less than one quarter’s profit,” Glazer said. Although the investigation has dragged on long after Leumi’s was settled, Glazer said Hapoalim wanted to put the affair behind it for fear the cost will only rise over time. Hapoalim shares finished up 0.7% at 24.79 shekels ($6.94). (Michael Rochvarger)

Energy sector leads advances on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

Tel Aviv shares ended higher on Monday, led by oil and gas stocks. The benchmark TA-35 index climbed almost 0.45% to end at 1,539.15 points, while the TA-125 added 0.4% to 1,392.45, on a turnover of 1.21 billion shekels ($340 million). Delek group companies paced gains for energy shares, but Ratio wasn’t far behind with a 1.9% advance to 2.59 shekels. Tech shares were stronger, too, with Enlight gaining 3.1% to 2.07 a day after saying it had received approvals to move forward with construction of Israel’s biggest wind-power farm and Energetix jumped 5.1% to 3.93. Blue chips stocks were paced by a 1.8% gain for Bezeq to end at 4.36, a day after Internet Gold said suitors had emerged for Bezeq’s parent company. Bank Leumi climbed 1% to 22.25 and Teva Pharmaceuticals extended Sunday’s solid gain to add another 1.05% to 82.66 after two of the drug maker’s partners reported positive regulatory progress. (Jasmin Geuta)