Business in Brief: Landau-Yaari to Step Down as Acting Stock Exchange CEO

Golan files suit denying it owes Cellcom Israel 600 million shekels; Radware shares drop on third-quarter results warning; Taaman partners move to gain stake in Willi-Food; FIMI agrees to buy Galam for $76.6 million; Tel Aviv shares end higher ahead of holiday.

Gal Landau-Yaari
Yariv Dagan

Landau-Yaari to step down as acting stock exchange CEO

Gal Landau-Yaari, who has been serving as acting CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange since Yossi Beinart stepped down three weeks ago, said Monday she would also be leaving. Landau-Yaari, who reached the decision after a meeting with TASE chairman Amnon Neubach, will be out by the end of the year. She was promoted by Beinart 11 months ago to become the bourse’s first-ever chief operations officer, putting her in charge of day-to-day operations and implementing strategic plans. But Landau-Yaari had only been at the TASE for two years and her rapid promotion angered many employees. When Landau-Yaari took over much of his job after Beinart took sick leave last June, Neubach acted to undercut her authority, sources said. Beinart had been recruited by the TASE to stem a years-long decline in trading volumes and listings, but during his short tenure he failed to reverse the situation. (Shelly Appelberg)

Golan files suit denying it owes Cellcom Israel 600 million shekels

Cellcom Israel said Monday that Golan Telecom has filed a lawsuit claiming it does not owe the company 600 million shekels ($158 million) for past national roaming payment differences. Golan informed Cellcom that in light of certain unspecified claims it will pay the company a monthly sum of 10.6 million shekels plus value-added tax instead of the agreed 21 million shekels for the roaming services already provided by the company. Cellcom said it intends to take legal action to receive the agreed amount. “The company believes this lawsuit is unfounded, in contradiction to the binding national roaming agreement ... and the company intends to act vigorously in order to dismiss it,” Cellcom said in a statement. If Cellcom fails, however, this will have an unspecified “material adverse effect” on net income from the third quarter onwards. Cellcom shares ended up 1.45% to 30.05 shekels ($7.94). (Reuters)

Radware shares drop on third-quarter results warning

Shares of Radware, whose software routes applications technology over computer networks to ensure applications run smoothly, dropped Monday after it said third-quarter results would be below its forecast. The company said revenues would be approximately $47 million, compared with the $50 million to $53 million it had predicted last July. It said that earnings, excluding special items, were expected to be four cents per diluted share, compared to guidance of seven to nine cents. Deferred revenues and uncollected bills came to approximately $110 million at the end of the quarter, up 30% from a year earlier, Radware said. Radware will report its financial results November 1. Radware shares were down 2.2% to $12.86 late morning Monday, local time in New York. (TheMarker Staff)

Taaman partners move to gain stake in Willi-Food 

Shalom and Dror Haim, who control the food importer Taaman, moved closer Monday to gaining a stake in rival Willi-Food after they agreed to cover a $10 million debt for Willi-Food’s controlling shareholder. Gregory Gurtovoy was due to lose control of Willi-Food in a court-ordered sale whose proceeds would have been used in part to repay his debt to Haim Shani. Two groups, including Willi-Food’s former owner Joseph Williger, had submitted offers of up to 140 million shekels ($37 million) for the company But under a memorandum of understanding reached with Gurtovoy, the Haims circumvented the process by agreeing to fund the debt in return for “cooperation in transferring control of the corporate group in equal shares.” The deal, however, is subject to antitrust approval because the two sides are both food importers. Shares of Willi-Food ended down 0.7% at 16.31. (Eran Azran)

FIMI agrees to buy Galam for $76.6 million

The private equity fund FIMI said Monday it reached an agreement to buy control of the food-ingredients maker Galam from Kibbutz Ma’anit and the Bereshit Fund for 290 million shekels ($76.6 million). Galam, which also makes animal feed and products for industry, has turnover of 450 million shekels annually and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 45 million. FIMI said the acquisition would not include Galam’s 20.2% stake in publicly traded Enzymotec, which makes lipid-based products for the nutritional and pharmaceutical markets and is worth $33 million. (Yoram Gabison)

Tel Aviv shares end higher ahead of holiday

Tel Aviv shares ended higher Monday before a two-day break for the Yom Kippur holiday. The TA-25 and TA-100 indices both rose about 0.5% to 1,442.95 and 1,266.15 points, respectively, on turnover of 1.23 billion shekels ($320 million). Insurance shares paced the gains, with Harel ending up 3.8% to 14.70 shekels. El Al Airlines rose 4.1% to 3.52 after the government reported that the carrier’s traffic jumped 23% in September from a year ago and its market share by four percentage points to 30%. Mazor Robotics jumped 9% to 46.42 after it reported receiving orders for 25 of its robotic-surgery systems during the third quarter. Opko Health, which has plummeted since Friday morning on concerns over Medicare coverage of its key cancer screening procedure, steadied, but was still down 0.9% for the day at 37.53. Mylan was the biggest loser on the TA-100, falling 2% to 147.20. (Omri Zerachovitz)