Business in Brief: Brown Hotels Plans Stock Exchange Listing

Camtek shares rise after company forecasts 30% revenue rise in 2018 ■ MediWound will get up to $43 million from U.S. for mustard gas treatment ■ Tel Aviv shares extend losses during abbreviated holiday session

Assaf Pinchuk

Brown Hotels plans stock exchange listing

Brown Hotels is planning a listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange through a merger with the publicly traded shell company Herodium Investments. Under the terms reported to the TASE by Herodium on Tuesday, Brown’s parent company, Leopard Group, will be merged into Herodium via share swap that will leave Leopard holding between 75% and 85% of the merged company.  Leopard is being valued at 325 million shekels ($90.6 million) in the merger. Brown now operates eight hotels in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Croatia, but has six other properties under development and in negotiations to lease sites the two cities plus Eilat and Ashdod. If all its plans come to fruition, Brown will have 1,549 hotels rooms by April 2019. Final terms for the merger will be completed in about 45 days, Herodium said, after which the deal must still be approved by a court. Brown would then become the TASE’s fifth listed hotel company. (Eran Azran)


Camtek shares rise after company forecasts 30% revenue rise in 2018

Shares of Camtek rose sharply on Wednesday after the maker of equipment for the semiconductor industry said it had received an important order that would contribute to a 30% increase in sales this year. The $4.5 million contract was from an unidentified tier-one semiconductor assembly and test company for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2018. “We are seeing continued order strength and based on this momentum as well as our strong backlog, we expect 2018 revenues to exceed $120 million, representing a year-over-year increase of over 30%,” CEO Rafi Amit said. Camtek had earlier forecast third-quarter revenues of $31 million to $32 million, so that its full-year estimate means fourth-quarter sales could be as much as $30.3 million. Amit said new technologies introduced in the past year and upcoming launches of new products should lead to increased market share in 2019 and beyond. Camtek shares ended 5.2% higher at 30.74 shekels ($8.57). (Yoram Gabison)


MediWound will get up to $43 million from U.S. for mustard gas treatment

MediWound, whose therapies are used to treat severe burns and wounds, said on Monday that a U.S. agency would provide up to $43 million to fund development of a treatment for injuries caused by mustard gas in chemical warfare. The contract with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority calls for MediWound to adopt its NexoBrid product to treat sulfur mustard injuries as part of BARDA’s preparedness for mass casualty events. Sulfur Mustard is typically dispersed as a fine mist of liquid droplets that causes thermal burns and skin injuries. The company will get an initial $12 million to support research and development and options for up to another $31 million over eight years. “Ten decades of research has not yet produced an approved treatment for sulfur mustard skin injury,” said CEO Gal Cohen. However, data from animal studies has shown that NexoBrid might help victims who otherwise would have to undergo radical surgical removal of contaminated skin. (Yoram Gabison)

Tel Aviv shares extend losses during abbreviated holiday session

Tel Aviv shares ended lower on Wednesday during a holiday-shortened trading session. The benchmark TA-35 index lost 0.8% to finish at 1,652.42 points, while the TA-125 shed 0.7% to 1,493.16, on turnover of 783 million shekels ($218 million). Among the biggest losers, Opko Health – which is beset by U.S. charges the company and its CEO manipulated shares over penny stocks – tumbled for a second a day, falling 6% to 14.19 shekels. Teva Pharmaceuticals fell 3% to 82.40 shekels. It was the second big drop in a row amid concerns over competition for its new migraine treatment. Alony Hertz declined 0.55% to 348.19. Its 43.7%-owned Carr unit agreed to buy half a Boston lot slated for a $900 million office tower. InterCure soared for a second day after the medical-marijuana a company said former prime minister Ehud Barak would serve as chairman. Its shares closed 15.7% higher at 2.88. Partner Communications rose 2.5% to 18.77.  (Noam Bar)