Business in Brief: Delek in Talks to Buy Oil Field in U.K. North Sea From EnQuest

Liquidation halted at IDB Development; Tel Aviv stocks take minor losses.

Tomer Appelbaum

Liquidation halted at IDB Development

Following the Adama deal, the liquidation proceedings at IDB Development have been halted, as planned. Bondholders in IDB Development agreed to withdraw their demand for liquidation after the company announced on Sunday that it would it would be selling off its remaining 40% holding in Adama, the mining company formerly known as Makhteshim Agan. The buyer is Chemchina, which already holds the other 60%. IDB’s holding in Adama is through its subsidiary (76.4%) Discount Investments. Chemchina is expected to pay $230 million in cash for the 40% holding. As part of the deal, Chemchina will also forgive a $1.172 million loan to Discount Investments. Discount Investments’ holdings include supermarket giant Shufersal and cell phone company Cellcom, and will have assets with a net value of 1.8 billion shekels following the sale. (Shelly Appelberg)

Delek in talks to buy oil field in U.K. North Sea from EnQuest

EnQuest is in talks to sell a 20 percent stake in the North Sea Kraken oilfield to Israeli conglomerate Delek Group in a deal that could be worth $162 million, the companies said on Monday. Kraken is one of the largest current development projects in the U.K. North Sea, with an anticipated production life of up to 25 years and first oil targeted in 2017, according to EnQuest, which owns a 70.5 percent share in the field. Cairn Energy has the remaining stake. The field holds an estimated 147 million barrels of oil. While EnQuest has been looking to reduce debt and potentially sell off assets, Delek, a lead partner in a number of natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean, primarily offshore Israel, wants to expand its portfolio internationally. A fully-owned Delek subsidiary has signed a noncommittal agreement in principle with EnQuest. The move comes as energy exploration companies have been hurt by rock-bottom oil prices. Delek is apparently looking to take advantage of this market in order to expand. (Eran Azran and Reuters)

TASE takes minor losses

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange finished Monday's trading session with minor losses, as the blue-chip Tel Aviv-25 Index creeped downward 0.1% to close at 1,458 points and the broader Tel Aviv-100 Index also lost 0.1% to close at 1,268 points. Banks shares lost 0.4%, led downward by Mizrahi Tefahot, which closed off 1.5%. Insurance shares gained 07%, led upward by Migdal, which gained 3.6%, putting it up 7.6% for the last two days. Communications shares lost 1.3%, led downward by Cellcom and Partner, both of which lost 2.5%. Total turnover was 1.1 billion shekels. Notable shares included Africa Israel, which gained 7.2% on the news that controlling shareholder was offering to buy the shares in subsidiary AFI from the company as it seeks a debt arrangement with bondholders. The prices of the company’s bonds jumped between 4% and 13%, although their returns are still deep in junk territory – a reflection of the market’s assessment regarding the chances of the debts being repaid. (Omri Zerachovitz)