The Ticker

FIMI Takes 49.99% Stake in Unitronics for 110 Million Shekels

Mobileye gains from U.S. automatic-braking pact, Bond prices point to very low inflation for next five years and Tel Aviv shares end higher, despite big drops for blue chips

Yonatan Bloom

FIMI takes 49.99% stake in Unitronics for 110 million shekels

The private equity fund FIMI said on Sunday it was buying 49.99% of Unitronics for 110 million shekels ($28.5 million), sending the share price for the maker of automation-control equipment soaring. In a two-part deal, Unitronics said FIMI would pay 16 shekels apiece for 60 million shekels-worth of newly issued shares – a 30% premium on their closing price last Thursday. It will also buy another 50 million shekels of stock from controlling shareholder and CEO Haim Shani. FIMI, which is managed by Yishai Davidi, will then control the company jointly with Shani, who will retain a 22% stake. Formed in 1989, Unitronics – whose technologies include automated parking systems – had 159 million shekels in revenue last year, down from 171 million shekels in 2014. However, its net profit rose to 9.6 million shekels, up from 3.3 million shekels. Unitronics shares closed up 32.55% at 16.33 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Mobileye gains from U.S. automatic-braking pact

Mobileye, the Israeli maker of collision-prevention technology, stands to benefit after automakers said they would make automatic emergency braking standard on nearly all U.S. vehicles by 2022. Last Thursday, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said companies – including General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen – that account for 99% of all U.S. sales had agreed to the standard. Reports about the standard began circulating before the announcement, lifting shares of Mobileye by 12% over three trading sessions last week. The Israeli company is working with companies like BMW, Tesla Motors, GM and Honda, and says millions of vehicles already use its system. A Wells Fargo report last week cited Mobileye as well as Delphi Automotive and Autoliv as the three big winners from increasing adoption of active safety and autonomous emergency braking. Wells Fargo has an Outperform rating for Mobileye and the valuation range was $51 to $54. Mobileye shares closed up 0.8% at $37.20 in New York on Friday. (TheMarker)

Bond prices point to very low inflation for next five years

Low inflation is here to stay, according to the latest survey of bond yields by the Bank of Israel, released Sunday. Yield differentials between inflation-indexed and unindexed government bonds point to consumer prices falling by 0.2% over the next 12 months. They will turn higher over the next two years but by an average of just 0.2% annually, while over the next five years prices will rise on average just 0.9% a year – well below the government’s target of 1%-3% annually. Inflation in Israel over each of the last two years has been negative, with the consumer price index falling 0.2% in 2014 and 1% in 2015. Last week, the Central Bureau of Statistics said the February CPI fell 0.3%. Unlike bond yields, economists surveyed by the central bank see inflation returning sooner, albeit at very low levels: The average forecast for the next 12 months sees the CPI rising 0.6%. The government’s 10-year Shahar bond rose 0.08% on Sunday, to cut its yield to 1.88%, while its inflation-linked Galil for the same term fell 0.13%, to raise its yield to 0.30%. (Moti Bassok)

Tel Aviv shares end higher, despite big drops for blue chips

Tel Aviv shares finished higher on Sunday, despite big drops for some blue chips. The benchmark TA-25 index finished the day up 0.1% at 1,485.03 points, while the TA-100 added 0.45% to 1,277.10 points, on very thin turnover of 460 million shekels ($119.3 million). Teva Pharmaceuticals dropped sharply for a second straight session, losing 1.7% to end on 209.20 shekels. It was the second-biggest loser on the TA-100 after saying last week its acquisition of Allergan’s generics business would be completed later than it expected. Perrigo also fell sharply again, losing 1.3% to end on 494.70 shekels, while Bezeq was down 1.1% to 8.95 shekels. But Mannkind posted a third session of double-digit gains, soaring 22.1% to 8.15 shekels, while Opko Health rose 4.7% to 42.15 shekels. Osem ended down 0.1% to 82.11 shekels after two class action suits were filed on Sunday seeking to block Nestlé’s buyout of minority shareholders. (Ruti Levy)