Matomy Media Buys Europe Digital Ad Company

Business in Brief: Perion plans layoffs; Medivie soars on China distribution pact; Intec shares rally; Shares keep heads above water

Eyal Toueg

Matomy, the Israeli digital advertising company, said Tuesday it was buying Europe’s MobFox, which provides integrated mobile ad solutions for web publishers and advertisers, for $17.6 million in cash and shares. Tel Aviv-based Matomy said would strengthen its position in the mobile and programmatic advertising markets, where worldwide spending is forecast to reach $83 billion in two years from $37 billion this year. “The impressive growth of programmatic and mobile advertising has made it clear that both will form an important part of the future of digital advertising,” Matomy CEO Ofer Druker said. The company estimated that mobile activity would contribute about 20% of its global revenue this year, rising to 50% in less than five years as a result of buying MobFox. Shares of Matomy, which formed a partnership with the French advertising giant Publicis this month, was up 4.5% at 238 pence ($3.85) in London. (TheMarker)

Perion plans layoffs as it switches strategic direction

Perion Network, which markets desktop software products, will be laying off as much as 15% of its staff and cut costs as it changes strategic direction toward mobile applications, sources said on Tuesday. The company will formally announce the changes in the next two weeks when it releases its third-quarter financial report, and on Tuesday declined to comment on the reports. The company employs some 550 people, 500 of them in Israel, who will bear the brunt of the firing. Most of them work in the search-engine segment of the business, which was hurt by a decision by Google to change its browser policy that made it harder for Perion to route users to search engines provided by rivals like Microsoft. Perion shares, which have dropped 65% in the past 18 months, closed down 8.9% at 19.78 shekels ($5.29) in Tel Aviv. (Ami Ginsburg)

Medivie soars on China distribution pact

Shares of Medivie Therapeutic soared in Tel Aviv on Tuesday after the company said it signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Pharmaceutical Group to market its flagship product Laboraide, a dental device designed to help women cope with the pain of childbirth, in China. The two aim to sign a strategic marketing agreement within three months after Laboraide wins Chinese regulatory approvals. The Chinese company, known popularly as Sinopharm, is one of the country’s biggest distributors of health products and has sales of $33 billion annually. Medivie said the agreement could generate hundreds of thousands of unit sales for Laboraide. Medivie began selling the device at the end of last year with an initial order in the thousands of units, and it is now sold in 15 countries. Medivie shares soared 15.9% to close at 1.06 shekels (28 cents) in Tel Aviv. (Dror Reich)

Intec shares rally on FDA approval for trials

Intec Pharma shares rallied on Tuesday after the developer of technology to improve the efficacy of existing drugs reported that the U.S. regulators had approved its planned Phase III clinical trials of its Accordion Pill Carbidopa/Levodopa. The pill is made from synthetic polymers folded into an ordinary capsule, creating a significantly longer absorption phase for the drug, which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. The company said it would now being talks with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about how to best design the trials, with the aim of starting them in the second half of next year either on its own or in partnership with another company. More than 2.7 million people in the U.S., Europe and Japan suffer from Parkinson’s and will spend some $2.8 billion on treatments in 2019, the company estimated. Intec shares ended 11.8% up at 65 agorot (17 cents) in Tel Aivv. (Dror Reich)

Share indices keep their heads above water

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s leading indices held their heads just above water on Tuesday, despite heading lower late in the session. The benchmark TA-25 index ended at 1,443.52 points and the TA-100 at 1,291.83, both registering gains of less than 0.1% for the day, on turnover of just over 970 million shekels ($259.5 million). Teva Pharmaceuticals led the most actives, advancing 0.9% to a close of 205.10 shekels. Israel Discounts Bank added 1.2% to 6.12 shekels, Allot Communications 2.8% to 41.39 and LivePerson 2.5% to a finish of 52.53. IDB Development Corporation extended its gains from Monday, climbing 2.1% to a close of 3.65 shekels. A day after the Bank of Israel opted to leave its base lending rate unchanged, the government’s 10-year shekel bond dropped 0.17% to raise its yield to 2.13%, while the dollar strengthened about 0.6% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.7650 shekels. (Dror Reich)