Business in Brief: Israeli Developer Wins $290m Angola Farm Contract

Two companies eyeing purchase of Teva’s women’s health business ■ Sarona Market woes leave owner Myda’s with second-quarter loss ■ Banks slide, taking down TA-35 with them

Saar Bracha, president and CEO of Tahal.
Ofer Vaknin

Kardan’s Tahal unit wins NIS 1.05 billion farm contract in Angola

Tahal, the infrastructure-development unit of Kardan NV, said on Wednesday it had won a 1.05 billion shekel ($290 million) contract for three farming projects in Angola together with ZRB, a local company controlled by Israeli Zeev Zacharin. The agreement with the Angolan state-owned company Gesterra-Gestao de Terras Atraveis calls for developing three giant projects in the Cabinda, Huambo and Lunda Sul provinces over 32 months. The work includes preparing the ground for crops and building and operating greenhouses, irrigation systems and logistics and training enters. The agreement comes less than a week after Tahal and ZRB won a similar contract to develop farming and water projects in Zambia ’s Copperbelt Province at a cost of $176 million and brings total orders for Tahal to $605 million. Both contracts are being split 50-50 by the two partners. Shares of Kardan jumped 24% on the news to close at 64 agorot. (Yoram Gabison)

Two companies eyeing purchase of Teva’s women’s health business

Teva Pharmaceuticals has attracted interest from two potential buyers for its women’s health unit in a sale that could raise $2 billion it needs to pay down debt. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that the interested parties were Church & Dwight Company and Cooper Company, and said other potential bidders include India’s Intas Pharmaceuticals and French buyout firm Astorg Partners. Teva planned to sell the business as a whole but could split the U.S. and European operations because the two companies are only interested in the U.S. business. The deadline for final bids is as soon as this week. Women’s health is one of several units Teva seeks to divest after its acquisition of Allergan’s generics division left it owing some $35 billion. Teva may also sell its European oncology and pain treatment units as well as its Medis unit. Teva shares ended down 1.6% at 60.26 shekels ($16.67). (TheMarker)

Sarona Market woes leave owner Myda’s with second-quarter loss

The sorry state of Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market was illustrated by the second-quarter financial report released late Tuesday by Myda’s Real Estate, which owns 51% of the shopping and leisure complex. Revenues from Sarona dropped 30% from a year ago to just 2.5 million shekels ($690,000) as occupancy dropped to 84% from a peak of 99% two years ago and rents fell. After a dispute with the Israel Securities Authority over valuing Sarona, Myda’s lowered it by 15 million shekels, leaving it with an 11.4 million shekel loss for the quarter. Gil Gazit, who was named Sarona’s CEO a year ago, said he plans to reposition the complex as an entertainment venue rather than as a mall. “Our vision is to take out most of the retail and bring in restaurants, bars and game centers,” he said. “Some have already left and others we’re asking to leave.” Myda shares ended down 4.8% at 80 agorot. (Eran Azran) 

Banks slide, taking down TA-35 with them

Bank shares weighed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Wednesday, leaving the key indexes lower for the day. The blue chip TA-35 index ended down 08% at 1,395.75 points, while the TA-125 dropped 0.6% to 1,262.58, in turnover of 1.09 billion shekels ($300 million). Hapoalim led bank shares lower, falling 2.9% to 24.44 shekels while Leumi declined 2.1% to 19.49. Nawi Brothers led the most actives, plunging 15.6% to 17.55 after the company said it would cease paying a dividend from 2018. Earnings reports on Wednesday were largely favorable. Insurer Harel finished up 3.9% at 21.50 after reporting that second-quarter net profit jumped to 184 million shekels from 28 million a year ago. Electra gained 5.4% to 748.20 on a 25% increase in net to 48 million. Frutarom rose 3% to 272.70 in heavy trading. In the bond market, the government’s 10-year Shahar bond climbed 0.38% to cut its yield to 1.66. Megureit raised 40 million shekels in the public tranche of its maiden bond issue. (Omri Zerachovitz)