Israel's Keshet Plans Fund for Overseas TV Shows

Israel Chemicals close to sale of IDE unit; Teva migraine drug succeeds in study; Stocks trade quietly amid biomed volatility

Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin as Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson in 'Homeland.' Tangled up in Iran.
Stephan Rabold/AP

Keshet plans fund for overseas TV shows

Keshet International, the foreign production unit of Channel 2 broadcaster Keshet, seeks to raise at least $20 million from institutional investors, for new productions. It is launching a roadshow for insurance companies and investment firms next week. Keshet has been hugely successful abroad, most recently with “The A Word,” a joint production with the BBC. Keshet International was founded in 2012, a year after Keshet had its first foreign hit with “Homeland,” an adaptation for the Showtime network of the Israeli series “Hatufim” (“Prisoners of War”). The company works closely with leading broadcasters like NBC, CBS and HBO. The vehicle Keshet is offering now is a fund where investors would be limited partners and a unit of Keshset International the general partner responsible for operations. The plan is to spend about $2.5 million per new TV project. (Uri Tomer)

Israel Chemicals close to sale of IDE unit

Israel Chemicals is close to selling its 50% in the desalination company IDE to a fund led by IDE CEO Avshalom Felber for $178 million. Felber would act as general partner of the fund buying the company and his investor group will hold 11% of it. Clal Insurance will hold 49% and a pension fund for teachers another 40%. The rest of IDE will remain in the hands of Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group. If it goes through, the sale will end a lengthy effort by ICL to sell the stake or float shares in IDE. Over the years those plans have valued the company at as much as $900 million, but increased competition in the global desalination business has reduced IDE’s value. Meanwhile, ICL needs the cash to reduce its debt and boost its credit rating, which was cut to BBB at the end of March. ICL shares ended up 0.6% at 15.09 shekels ($4.25). (Yoram Gabison)

Teva migraine drug succeeds in study

Teva Pharmaceuticals said on Wednesday its experimental drug to prevent migraine cleared a late-stage study, paving the way for a U.S. regulatory submission later this year. Patients treated with Teva’s fremanezumab experienced a statistically significant reduction in the number of monthly headache days for both monthly and quarterly dosing regimens, the company said. Teva joins companies such as Amgen, Eli Lilly and Alder BioPharmaceuticals that are developing similar drugs to target calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP, a protein involved in pain signaling during migraine. The most important data point is that the quarterly dosing regimen worked for Teva, Evercore ISI’s Umer Raffat said, noting that Lilly’s and Amgen’s compounds are being developed for use only on a monthly basis. Currently, patients are treated with triptans, a class of drugs that hit the market in the 1990s, but they cannot be used in up to 35% of patients due to high cardiovascular risk. Shares of Teva finished up 2.3% at 103.80 shekels ($29.23). (Reuters)

Stocks trade quietly amid biomed volatility

Tel Aviv shares ended Thursday mixed in heavy trading and sharp volatility in biomed stocks. The dollar posted further losses, shedding 0.3% against the shekel to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.5490 while the euro gained about the same to 3.9814. The blue chip TA-35 index ended 0.1% higher at 1,421.14 points, while the TA-125 was down nearly 0.1% at 1,294.46, on turnover of 2.425 billion shekels ($680 million).  Biomed shares were all over the place. Mannkind’s 12.05% jump to 5.98 shekels led the gainers, while Compugen’s 9.45% slump to 16.57 topped the losers. Among blue chips, Perrigo rose 7.1% to 265.60 shekels after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Alon Gas gained 4% to 75.89 after saying  it was in talks to buy 15% of the Ratio partnership at a 2.9 billion shekel valuation. Orbit posted a 3.9% rise to 7.92 in expectation it will win 150 million shekels in orders from Russian aircraft maker Irkut. (Uri Tomer)