Business in Brief: Bank Hapoalim Plans Largest IPO of the Year

Coca-Cola Israel bids on South African food firm Clover ■ TASE stays basically unchanged

File photo: Bank Hapoalim branch in central Tel Aviv, June 13, 2016.
David Bachar

Coca-Cola Israel bids on South African food firm Clover

Israel’s Central Bottling Company (Coca-Cola Israel) and partners submitted a bid to buy out publicly-traded South African company Clover based on a $350 million valuation, or 25% over its market cap prior to the announcement. Clover is a food manufacturer in the fields of milk, juices and mineral water, with 800 employees and 13 factories across South Africa. Coca-Cola Israel will account for some 60% of the deal, meaning the company will be investing $210 million. The other partners include South African and British investment funds, as well as Clover’s current management. If the deal goes through, Clover will be taken private. This is yet another step for Coca-Cola Israel in expanding abroad. (Eran Azran)

Hapoalim plans IPO for Isracard in March

Bank Hapoalim is planning to conduct an IPO for its credit card subsidiary Isracard in March, in what is currently expected to be Israel’s largest IPO of the year. It is expected to publish a shelf prospectus in a few weeks. The bank hopes to sell at least 30% of the credit card company’s shares, which means it is very likely to be listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s major indexes. Isracard is Israel’s most profitable and most efficient credit card company, but due to the bank’s plan not to sell controlling shares, and uncertainty regarding a new operating agreement as well as the need to sell more shares, it may have trouble receiving the highest possible price. (Michael Rochvarger)

TASE stays basically unchanged

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange finished Monday’s trading session with few significant changes, as the blue-chip Tel Aviv-35 Index closed down 0.1% to close at 1,553 points and the broader Tel Aviv-125 Index closed down 0.06%. Bank shares gained a mild 0.4%, and turnover was about average at 1.1 billion shekels. Notable shares included Aeronautics, which gained 1.2% after the Defense Ministry reinstated its permit to export its Orbiter 1K drone to a major client. Bezeq closed up 6%, and parent company B Comm was up 5.3%. Bioline gained 13.5% on the news that the FDA had granted its treatment orphan drug status. The company’s share is up 44% for the past 12 months, putting it at a market cap of $235 million. (Genia Wilensky)