Roundup / The Pomegranate Puzzle

Ampal shareholders threaten to sue Yossi Maiman, Enlight selling solar projects.

And then pomegranates cost 20% more: This summer's crop of pomegranates increased 20% compared with 2011, yet the price is 15% higher. Some 60,000 tons of the fruit are expected to be picked this year, says the Galilee Economic Development Company, which stores the harvests. (Advances in chilling technology mean the fruit can be stored without impairment for four months, adds the company.) As for price, farmers are charging wholesalers and retailers NIS 3 per kilo for pomegranates, while grocers are selling them for around NIS 12 per kilo, compared with an average of NIS 10.50 last year. Why? Because they can.

Ampal shareholders threaten to sue Yossi Maiman: Shareholders of Ampal-American Israel Corporation are planning personal claims against the company's controlling shareholder Yossi Maiman, and the members of the company's board of directors, they warned in a letter Sunday night. They are agitating against the fees payable to American lawyers handling the holding company's Chapter 11 filing in New York. On August 29 the company, which is dual-listed for trading in Tel Aviv and New York, filed for protection at the U.S. bankruptcy court. The board explained that the bankruptcy proceeding is in the best interest of shareholders as transaction restructures its debt. The shareholders say they're suing Maiman and the directors "for the difference in tariffs between legal fees in Israel and the fees they'll have to pay for handling a process in the U.S.". Also, the whole thing is illegal, claim the stockholders: The prospectus clearly states that the purchase of the company's securities is governed by Israeli law and no other law.

Enlight selling solar projects: Enlight, a solar-power company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is negotiating to sell a bunch of photovoltaic projects for NIS 19 million. If the deal closes, the buyer will assume the bank loans funding the projects. The deal isn't done but Enlight is giving the potential buyer, a private company, exclusive negotiating status through to October. Moreover, Enlight says, this could be the start of a beautiful relationship between the two firms, involving more solar sites around Israel. Enlight, a smallcap, reported losing NIS 0.9 million in the second quarter, on turnover of NIS 8.2 million.

With reporting by Amiram Cohen and Oren Freund