Daily Roundup / Delek Buys 30% Stake in Cypriot Gas Prospect

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Delek Group buys Cypriot gas stake: Delek Drilling and Avner, both subsidiaries of Yitzhak Tshuva's Delek Group, have bought a 30% interest in a natural gas prospect off the coast of Cyprus, the Cypriot energy ministry said on Monday. The exploration companies bought the stake from none other than their partner in Israeli gas exploration, the Texan company Noble Energy, which has the license to drill for natural gas in the Mediterranean seabed off Cyprus. Delek and Avner reps signed the agreement with Cyprus's Commerce, Industry and Tourism minister, Neoclis Sylikiotis. No financial terms were disclosed.

Perrigo buys UK firm: Perrigo Co, a maker of generic and over-the-counter drugs, took another step on Monday in its aggressive expansion through acquisition with the purchase of UK-based Rosemont Pharmaceuticals for about $283 million in cash. Rosemont manufactures and supplies over 150 liquid medicines for joint disease, infections and gastrointestinal disorders. Perrigo, which is dual-listed on Wall Street and in Tel Aviv, said Rosemont, which had net sales of more than $60 million in 2012, will become a part of its prescription drugs business. Just ten days earlier, Perrigo acquired the privately held company Velcera for $160 million, its second acquisition in the animal healthcare market in four months.

Excellence sees Zim restructuring debt again: The Zim shipping company, a subsidiary of the Israel Corp., may need to restructure its debt again this year, an analyst at the Excellence investment house asserts. Excellence's Liat Glazer says she also suspects that Oil Refineries will need a boost from its parent Israel Corp. Despite that, Glazer yesterday started coverage of the Israel Corp with a Buy recommendation and a target of NIS 3,156 per share, an upside of 20% from its starting share price on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Tuesday. And this is why? She calculates that Israel Corp is trading at a 35% discount below the holding of its traded assets, and a 27% discount to its holding in Israel Chemicals.

IDB still owes BNP money: BNP Paribas closed its Israeli branch last year, leaving behind just a small representation. Now TheMarker has learned that the IDB group remains in debt to the French bank. The debt originates from a $125 million loan to IDB Development Corp. IDB repaid NIS 160 million in January but after adding interest, remains owing NIS 350 million. The business group is supposed to repay the rest this July and in January 2014, but it may have to reschedule repayment as it hashes out a deal with other creditors. IDB Development owes bondholders NIS 4.2 billion and banks and other finance institutions another NIS 2 billion. The biggest creditor is Bank Hapoalim, to which it owes NIS 760 million.

HOT Telecom names new CEO: HOT Telecom on Monday said it named Gil Sasportas as its new chief executive officer, effective immediately. Sasportas, 41, replaces Stella Handler, who resigned as top manager at the cable TV company last month. For the past eight years, Sasportas has run HOT's planning, infrastructure and technical businesses and was responsible for upgrading HOT's network to accommodate Internet surfing speeds of 100 Mbps. Meanwhile, the talk is that Handler may be tapped to head HOT's arch-rival Bezeq.

With reporting by Michael Rochvarger, Reuters and Yoram Gabison

Delek Group expects to find buried treasure in the Cypriot seabed - a large field of natural gas.Credit: Bloomberg
Outgoing HOT CEO Stella Handler.Credit: Tamar Matsafi