Business in Brief: Super Pharm Gearing Up for Tel Aviv Stock Exchange IPO

Tel Aviv shares end higher, despite Teva Pharmaceuticals selloff ■ Bondholders backing alternative to Africa Properties

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Israeli pharmacy chain, Super-Pharm.
Israeli pharmacy chain, Super-Pharm.Credit: Eyal Toueg

Mellanox CEO demands Xilinx up its bid to acquire company

Mellanox CEO Eyal Waldman rejected an offer to buy from the U.S. company Xilinx over last weekend, saying he would settle for no less than $125 a share, TheMarker has learned. Investment bankers from Barclays, which is representing Xilinx in the negotiations, arrived in Israel for a meeting they hoped would close the deal but were told by Waldman that Xilinx would not only have to raise the price but increase the cash component of the deal. For now, at least, the talks have been scuttled. Waldman’s minimum price is a 24% premium on Mellanox’s market cap on the Nasdaq. However, even after its shares have chalked up a 16% rise in the last 12 months, the company still trading at a low 16.1 times 2019 forecast earnings. Thanks to new products, Mellanox enjoyed strong shares growth and increased market share last year and expects a strong 2019. Mellanox was unchanged at $100.75 in early trading Wednesday. (Yoram Gabison)

Bondholders backing alternative to Moti Ben-Moshe for Africa Properties

Africa Israel bondholders are planning an alternative to the failed debt bailout deal to sell Africa Israel Investments to the Israeli-German entrepreneur Moti Ben-Moshe. In recent weeks an investor group has been formed that has agreed to buy Africa Israel’s 56% stake in Africa Properties, the commercial and industrial real estate arm of the group, for 1.37 billion shekels ($380 million). The group includes the companies the commercial property developers Big and Mega Or as well as a host of institutional investors that include the insurers Clal, Phoenix and Harel. Big and Mega-Or would contribute in equal shares up to 800 million of the price. The idea is to convince Judge Eitan Orenstein, who is overseeing the bailout, that there is no point is trying to revive the Ben-Moshe offer because there is now a concrete alternative. Orenstein, however, may insist that the sale of Africa Properties be open to competitive bidding again. (Shelly Appelberg)

Anchiano Therapeutic gets off to a poor start after Nasdaq IPO

Anchiano Therapeutics got off on the wrong foot on Nasdaq after its initial public offering on Tuesday. The Israeli biotechnology company raised $30 million selling 2.65 million American depositary shares at $11.50 each. That was already an 18% discount to the Anchiano’s Tel Aviv Stock Exchange price, but the ADSs fell in opening trade to $10.80 by close even as the Nasdaq biotechnology peers and the broader stock market. The ADSs took another hit on Wednesday, falling 0.9% to $10.70 in early trading. Formerly called Biocancell, Anchiano is 31%-owned by Clal Biotechnology and is based in Jerusalem and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Inodiftagene vixteplasmid, its gene therapy for non-muscle invasive stage bladder cancer, has been tested in six clinical trials to date. It core technology is based on Hebrew University Prof. Avraham Hochberg’s discovery of the of the H19 gene, which connected to 40 different forms of cancer. (Yoram Gabison)

Super Pharm gearing up for Tel Aviv Stock Exchange IPO

After resisting for many years, Leon Koffler, founder and controlling shareholder of Super Pharm, has given the nod for Israel’s biggest pharmacy chain to go public. Super Pharm’s board will meet by the end of this week to approve an initial public offering valuing the company at 1.7 billion shekels ($470 million). Part of the proceeds will go into the company, but Bank Leumi and Israel Discount Bank are expected to sell their stakes of 15% and 10%, respectively, in the IPO. It’s not clear yet whether Koffler will sell any of his shares. Super Pharm is estimated to have had 2018 sales of 5 billion shekels and another 760 million from its Polish unit. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are believed to have been 250 million shekels. A plan to sell the European fund CVC up to 40% of the retailer in 2017 collapsed in a dispute over control issues. (Michael Rochvarger and Adi Dovrat-Meseritz)

Tel Aviv shares end higher, despite Teva Pharmaceuticals selloff

Tel Aviv shares overcame a huge selloff of Teva shares to end higher on Wednesday. The benchmark TA-35 index rose 0.35% to close at 1,558.62 points, while the TA-125 gained 0.5% to 1,420.81, on turnover of 1.42 billion shekels ($390 million). Among gainers, Camtek climbed 5.8% to 30.76 shekels after it reported a 68% rise in fourth-quarter operating profit, and Israel Chemicals rose 1.9% to 20.25. Harel recommended investors increase their exposure to domestic shares. “After the declines of last week, we are pretty close to price levels of a year ago, so in effect stocks did nothing - but companies did a lot. They continued to grow, meaning that the stock market is now cheaper than it was a year ago,” it said. Cannabis shares dropped sharply – InterCure fell 8.2% to 12.30, Dunivo 10% to 4.68 and Herodium 14.5% to 10.90. Delek Group fell 2.6% to 618.80. (Guy Erez)