Business in Brief

El Al Loses Market Share in Israel's Main Airport

Teva executives among Israel’s highest-paid, but S&P keeps Teva at BBB, negative outlook | Haifa Chemicals asks to swap judge hearing ammonia appeal, says can’t supply solar field component.

An El Al Airlines 747 plane at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
David Bachar

El Al’s portion of international travel at Ben-Gurion International Airport contracted in February, from 35% of travelers last February to 32% this year. It increased its total number of international passengers by only 1,330 people.

Total air traffic at Ben-Gurion increased by 12% for the month, compared to February 2016. Israir, however, doubled its passenger load compared to last February, from 10,223 last year to 21,791 passengers this year, while Arkia also increased its passenger load from 9,000 people last year to 11,730 this year. In total, Israeli airlines accounted for 37.5% of all international air travelers this February. (Gili Melnitcki)

Teva executives among Israel’s highest-paid

Teva Pharmaceuticals’ executives were among some of the best paid among Israel’s publicly held companies in 2016, even though the company’s stock tanked 44% last year.

According to the company’s financial reports, five Teva executives top the list of Israel’s best-paid executives, although some companies have yet to file. President of Global Research and Development Michael Hayden had a salary cost of 20.7 million shekels ($5.63 million), including bonuses.

The entrance to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s headquarters in Jerusalem, Israel, Sept. 19, 2011.
Adam Reynolds, Bloomberg

Erez Vigodman, who stepped down suddenly as CEO last year, had a salary cost of 19.6 million shekels.

Former Chief Legal Officer Richard Egosi had a salary cost of 19.7 million shekels. After the Teva executives comes Josef Mandelbaum, who was ousted as CEO of Perion Network and had a salary cost of 11 million shekels last year. Perion’s share price plunged 63% last year. (Guy Erez)

S&P keeps Teva at BBB, negative outlook

Rating company Standard & Poors maintained Teva’s credit rating of BBB with a negative forecast for its bonds, and decreased its rating for the company’s management and governance from satisfactory to fair. The confirmation of the BBB rating for the company’s credit comes as the company faces potential generic threats to its flagship drug Copaxone, as well as the chance of dropping drug prices, S&P explained.

Its lower rating for the company’s management comes due to its expectations that the company will have a harder time implementing its strategic plan following the departure of Teva Generics CEO Sigurdur Olafsson and Teva Pharmaceuticals CEO Erez Vigodman, the rating agency explained. (Yoram Gabison)

Haifa Chemicals can’t supply solar field component

Haifa Chemicals informed the Arison group’s Shikun & Binui that it would not be able to supply it with a critical component for its thermal-solar field in the Negev due to the court’s decision ordering the chemicals company to empty its ammonia tank by April 1.

Shikun & Binui had ordered potassium nitrate from Haifa Chemicals in order to operate its 110-megawatt solar power field at Ashalim. Ammonia is a critical component for making that chemical, stated Haifa Chemicals. It claimed the court’s decision should be considered “force majeure,” thus exempting it from having to offer compensation.

Haifa Chemicals has been ordered to empty the tank and has been barred from refilling it, after a report found that the tank was at risk of imminent collapse, killing tens of thousands of people around the Haifa Bay. (Avi Bar-Eli)

Haifa Chemicals asks to swap judge hearing ammonia appeal

In addition, Haifa Chemicals petitioned to replace the court and the judge hearing its appeal against the tank’s closure. The company claims the order to close the tank was made without hearing the company’s stance. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Ministry proposed an additional extension of the deadline to empty the tank, after a Dutch expert said the process would take until June. Haifa Chemicals requested an indefinite extension, saying it doesn’t know how to safely remove the final 600 tons of ammonia. (Ora Coren)