Business in Brief: Spacecom Says Beijing Xinwei Still Interested in Completing Acquisition

Shellanoo pulls IPO, citing intense media criticism; Clal Biotechnology calls it a day with its D Pharm unit; Insurance, biomed shares lift Tel Aviv market in light trading.

SpaceX explosion destroying AMOS-6 satellite on September 1, 2016.
Screenshot of USLaunchReport

Spacecom says Beijing Xinwei still interested in completing acquisition

Space Communications said on Wednesday that the agreement its parent company had reached to sell the satellite operator to China’s Beijing Xinwei Group was still in force and that the two sides would explore options for the deal over the next 30 days. In the meantime, Space said, it would not seek to solicit offers from other potential buyers. Beijing Xinwei Group had agreed August 24 to buy Spacecom, but seven days later the Israeli company’s Amos 6 satellite was destroyed on its Launchpad after the Falcon 9 rocket slated to lift it into orbit exploded. With Amos 6 designated to offer services to blue chip customers like Facebook and take over service being provided by the aging Amos 2 satellite, the disaster raised doubts about Beijing Xinwei Group’s willingness to go ahead with the acquisition. Spacecom’s market capitalization has shrunk 40% since the explosion to 540 million shekels, less than half Beijing Xinwei Group’s offering price. Spacecom shares finished down 1.4% at 26.66 shekels ($6.97). (Guy Erez)

Shellanoo pulls IPO, citing intense media criticism

Shellanoo, the high-tech holding company, said on Wednesday it was pulling its controversial planned initial public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, citing intense media criticism of the  offering. “In recent weeks, Shellanoo Group, its employees and shareholders were subject to brutal attacks from the country’s newspaper and media people. We initially believed, and still do, that Israel technology companies can thrive in the Tel Aviv bourse. Nevertheless, in light to the disproportionate attacks on us by various newspapers, we’ve decided to focus the company’s activities in another place,” the company said in a statement, wishing everyone a good weekend. The company, founded by Oded Kobo and backed by, among others, the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, had sought to raise 200 million shekels ($53.26 million) at a 700 million-shekel valuation, despite the fact the none of its applications have begun generating revenues let alone profits. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Clal Biotechnology calls it a day with its D Pharm unit

Clal Biotechnology finally gave up on its 540 million-shekel ($143.8million) investment in D Pharm and said after trading ended on Tuesday that it had agreed to sell its 58% stake in the company for just over 300,000 shekels.  Clal Biotech, a biomed holding company controlled by U.S. entrepreneur Len Blavatnik, made the decision to part with the company after its THR 18 drug for patients suffering from ischemic stroke failed in Phase II clinical trials last month. The buyers of the D Pharm shares – Cybele Investments, which is controlled by Shahar Saidon, and the law firm Tshuva, Victor & Company, which paid 11 agorot a share for the stake – are expected to take the company in new directions. That lifted D Pharm’s share price 19.6% on Wednesday to 10 agorot a share. Clal Biotechnology, which is expected to write down another 10.5 million shekels on the sale, closed up 2.4% at 2.89 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Insurance, biomed shares lift Tel Aviv market in light trading

Tel Aviv shares ended higher on Wednesday, paced by insurance and biomed stocks. The TA-25 and TA-100 indices both ended about 0.6% up at 1,461.51 and 1,282.12 points, respectively, on tepid turnover of 936 million shekels ($249 million). Insurance shares were led by a 5.1% advance for Phoenix to 9.97 shekels. Menora gained 4.7% to 31.80 and Clal  2.9% to 41.68. Among biomeds, Opko Health rose 3.7% to 35.77. Bioline shares rose 4.8% to 3.47 after the company said it reached an agreement with Genentech to study  BioLineRx’s BL-8040 drug in combination with Atezolizumab, Genentech’s anti-cancer treatment. Navidiea jumped almost 35% to 2.79 a day after it announced it was selling to Cardinal Health the North American rights to its Lymphoseek for proceeds that could reach $310 million. Delek Drilling and Avner will redeem $400 million in bonds they issued to finance the Tamar natural gas field early. The bonds, due at the end of December, will be redeemed three months earlier at savings of $3 million. (Omri Zerachovitz)