Business in Brief: Israel Chemicals Takes Stake in Chinese Phosphate Operation

Arko Holdings in deal to expand its U.S. gas-station business

The Dead Sea Works potash fertilizer manufacturing plant belongs to Israel Chemicals.
Bloomberg

Israel Chemicals takes stake in Chinese phosphate operation

Israel Chemicals said yesterday it had completed the purchase of a 15% stake in a Chinese phosphate company, in a step toward forming a major phosphate operation in China. ICL said it paid $250 million for a 15% stake in Yunnan Yuntianhua, the parent company of ICL’s phosphate joint venture partner in China, Yunnan Phosphate Chemicals Group, as part of an alliance between the two companies. With ICL taking the lead, their joint venture will build specialty plants and triple the joint venture’s white phosphoric acid capacity over the next five years. The partners have established a phosphate research and development unit to develop next-generation phosphate-based products and process technologies, ICL said.  ICL said its 15% stake would entitle it to name two out of 11 board members, one of whom will be ICL CEO Stefan Borgas. Shares of ICL ended down 0.7% at 14.70 shekels ($3.70). (TheMarker)

Arko Holdings in deal to expand its U.S. gas-station business

Just days after enlisting a partner for its U.S. gas-station business at a valuation of 1.2 billion shekels ($300 million), Arko Holdings said yesterday its GPM unit was expanding its operations by buying 42 new self-service stations and adjacent convenience stores and a wholesale operation serving 23 others. Arko said the seller, who it didn’t name, agree to take $5.5 million in cash and accept $16.8 million in shares in a partnership GPM has formed and has pledged to take public by August 2017. GPM is already the 10th-largest operator of filling stations in the United States, and the newest acquisition will expand the number to 815. If an agreement in principle it reached four months ago is completed, the number will grow to more than 1,000. Last week GPM raised $70 million from two unnamed U.S. investment funds in exchange for a 22% stake. Share of Arko finished 3.3% higher at 1.15 shekels (29 cents). (Eran Azran)

Tel Aviv shares fall only moderately despite global market sell-off

Tel Aviv shares shrugged off the global sell-off over the weekend to end only moderately lower yesterday. The benchmark TA-25 index started the day with gains but ran out of steam by early afternoon and ended down 0.4% at 1,448.75 points. The TA-100 index lost 0.3% to 1,244.68 as some 853 million shekels ($214.5 million) in shares changed hands. Banking and real-estate stocks led the market lower, with Bank Leumi ending down 2.1% at 13.18 shekels and Bank Hapoalim losing 1.2% to 18.67. El Al Airlines led gainers in the TA-100, rising 8.3% to 2.88 after a three-sessions string of sharp drops. Ailing building company U. Dory Group jumped 60. 7% to 14 agorot after Gazit Globe reached an agreement to sell control to businessman Amos Luzon. In the fixed-income market, the price of the government’s 10-year Shahar bond rose 0.2%, cutting its yield to 1.93%. (Ruti Levy)