Energean Raises $460 Million in IPO That Draws Tepid Interest

Business in Brief: Vonetize shares soar on deal for Desilu Studios to buy control ■ Belgian’s Dexia divests Israeli unit with sale of stake to institutions ■ After dispute over price is resolved, Paz Oil is selling 20% stake in Super-Sol Finance

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File photo: An Energean drilling rig
File photo: An Energean drilling rigCredit: אנרג'יאן

Energean raises $460 million in IPO that draws tepid interest

An initial public offering in London and Tel Aviv by Greece’s Energean met with tepid demand on Friday, forcing the company to cut the size by $22 million and drop plans for insiders to sell $50 million of their stock. The 72.6 million in shares sold at 4.55 pounds ($6.35) each, or a total of $460 million, giving Energean a market capitalization of $968 million. The shares closed down on Friday at 4.37 pounds. Israeli investors, led by Clal Insurance which bought $100 million of stock, took a third of the IPO. Together with a credit facility signed earlier this month, the IPO proceeds will be used to finance the $1.6 billion development of the Karish and Tanin fields offshore Israel, which have reserves of up to 2.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 32.8 million barrels of light oil and condensate. Energean will also list on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in the coming weeks. (Eran Azran)

Vonetize shares soar on deal for Desilu Studios to buy control

America’s Desilu Studios is on its way to buying control of the Israeli maker of over-the-top live channel streaming and on-demand services. Under the deal announced over the weekend, the U.S. film studio famous for producing classic shows such as “I Love Lucy” and “Star Trek,” will initially buy a 10% stake in Vonetize from its controlling shareholders. In the next phase, Desilu has committed to going public and then buying another 44% of Vonetize from insiders in a share swap. Another option could be for Vonetize to dual list on Nasdaq this year and then merge Desilu into that listing through a share swap. “It has been my vision from day one to deliver our content direct to consumers via streaming or any other emerging and disruptive technologies. Discovering Vonetize has been a game changer for us,” said Desilu CEO Charles B. Hensley. Vonetize shares ended up 82.9% at 2.25 shekels (65 cents). (Assa Sasson)

Belgian’s Dexia divests Israeli unit with sale of stake to institutions

Seventeen years after entering the Israeli market, the Belgian lender Dexia on Sunday sold its controlling stake in its Israeli subsidiary for 350 million shekels ($101 million). Dexia divested  its 58.9% holding in Dexia Israel Bank for 674 shekels a share to institutional investors in an off-the-floor sale. That means Dexia Israel will be the only Israeli bank, apart from Bank Leumi, without a controlling shareholder. The sale comes after a failed attempt to merge with Bank of Jerusalem and the completion of a strategic reorganization for the tiny lender that included selling some 1.5 billion shekels of loans it was carrying to institutional investors and paying out a 300 million shekel dividend. Dexia sold the unit as part of a global strategy of exiting from local lending but also because its shares were trading at a relatively high valuation of 1.03 shareholders’ equity. Shares in Dexia Israel ended down 8.9% at 705 shekels. (Assa Sasson and Michael Rochvarger) 

After dispute over price is resovled, Paz Oil is selling 20% stake in Super-Sol Finance

Paz Oil agreed over the weekend to sell its 20% stake in the credit card and lending company Super-Sol Finance to its partners for 146.5 million shekels ($42.4 million) after the sides agreed on a compromise price. Super-Sol, Israel’s biggest grocery chain, had objected to what it said was the excessively high valuation that economist Ori Cohen had put on the company. Super-Sol and a third partner, Leumi Card, plan to exercise their option to buy Paz’s stake. When the deal is completed, Super-Sol Finance will be 80%-owned by Super-Sol and 20% by Leumi Card. Last year, Super-Sol Finance said it was ending a long-standing agreement with Leumi Card and would move its 500,000 cardholders to rival ICC-Cal. In related news, Paz reported on Sunday an adjusted net profit of 137 million shekels, unchanged from a year earlier. Paz shares ended down 2.6% at 580 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Tel Aviv shares finish lower in light trading

Tel Aviv shares ended lower in a day of light trading even as Wall Street shares closed higher on Friday. The benchmark TA-35 index dropped 0.2% to close at 1,501.37, while the TA-125 lost 0.3% to 1,361.47, as just 424 million shekels ($122.6 million) in shares changed hands. Among the biggest losers, for the day, Mazor Robotics fell 5.4% to 188.50 and Housing & Construction Limited skidded 3% to 6.43. Ormat Technologies ended down 1.1% at 187.70 even though fourth-quarter earnings of $1.29 per share reported on Friday exceeded estimates of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research for 57 cents. Gainers included the two cellphone companies, Partner Communications, which closed up 5.1% to 17.82, and Cellcom Israel, which added 3.9% to 26.67.  Teva Pharmaceuticals climbed 1.9% to 63.90 and Opko Health by 6.6% to 12.48. In foreign currency trading on Friday, the dollar strengthened more thann0.5% to a representative rate of 3.425 shekels. (TheMarker Staff)