Israel's Super-Sol Agrees to End Exclusivity Agreements With Shopping Malls

Business in Brief | RedHill shares soar, then sink on clinical trial results of Crohn’s treatment ■ Baran signs three preliminary African development contracts worth $482 million ■ Tel Aviv shares gain, despite declines for tech stocks

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File photo: A shopper in Super-Sol.
File photo: A shopper in Super-Sol.Credit: rami shllush

Super-Sol agrees to end exclusivity agreements with shopping malls

Super-Sol, Israel’s biggest supermarket chain, reached an agreement with Israel’s Antitrust Authority under which the supermarket chain will terminate all agreements giving it exclusive rights to sell food products in shopping malls and will pay an 8.9 million shekel ($2.4 million) fine. “The undertaking is expected to make it easier for competing businesses that sell food (including bakery products, fresh produce and delicatessens) to rent space in malls and shopping centers,” Antitrust Authority Director Michal Halperin said. Under the agreement, Super-Sol has six months to rewrite the exclusivity agreements it has that cover 180 of Super-Sol’s approximately 270 supermarkets. It will, however, be able to negotiate exclusive rights with mall managers for 25 future sites, but only for a maximum of three years, the authority said. The authority reached a similar agreement with Israel’s biggest pharmacy chain, Super Pharm, a year ago. Super-Sol shares finished up 1.2% at 22.04 shekels. (TheMarker)

RedHill shares soar, then sink on clinical trial results of Crohn’s treatment

Shares of RedHill Biopharma soared briefly before retreating on Monday after the company reported positive safety and efficacy results from a late-stage clinical trial of its RHB-104 treatment for Crohn’s disease.The study met its primary endpoint and key secondary endpoints, demonstrating the drug’s superiority over a placebo in achieving remission of the gastrointestinal disease 26 weeks into the study, the company said in a statement. Patients treated with RHB-104 also experienced a statistically significant benefit in achieving early remission at week 16 and in durable remission over weeks 16-52. “Many patients with Crohn’s disease do not achieve remission on current standard-of-care therapies, which are accompanied with poor side effects,” said David Graham, lead investigator of the Phase III study. “RHB-104 appears to have the potential to become a promising, new, orally administered therapy for this important debilitating disease.” Global sales of Crohn’s disease therapies are estimated to exceed $10 billion in 2018, RedHill said. Redhill shares ended down 2.2% at 3.50 shekels (96 cents). (Yoram Gabison)

Baran signs three preliminary African development contracts worth $482 million

Israel’s Baran Group said on Monday that its overseas unit had signed preliminary deals to undertake three separate water and agricultural development projects in Africa covering more than 125,000 acres that could be worth as much as $428 million. Baran didn’t name the country, but in a previous announcement about the same contract it (apparently inadvertently) identified it as Ivory Coast. Baran said that one project, for consulting and engineering over a 12-month period, was worth as much as $8 million, while a second project for infrastructure and agriculture planning is for between $50 million and $70 million over two to three years. The third project for infrastructure and agriculture planning is worth between $300 million and $350 million over five to six years. Baran said the parties would now enter a six-month period of negotiations to finalize terms. Baran shares ended up 12.6% at 7.59 shekels ($2.07). (Yoram Gabison)

Tel Aviv shares gain, despite declines for tech stocks

Tel Aviv shares ended higher on Monday, overcoming losses for the dual-listed tech stocks. The benchmark TA-35 index rose 0.4% to end at 1,579.32 points, while the TA-125 added 0.3% to 1,407.03, on turnover of 1.12 billion shekels ($310 million). Among the biggest gainers were El Al Airlines, which rose 3.1% to 90 agorot, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, up 2.5% to 86.50 shekels. TowerJazz gained 3% to 76.21, rebounding after two sessions of sharp loses on a disappointing third-quarter outlook. Most tech stocks were down, however, a s marquee technology companies continued to slide on Wall Street over growth concerns. Nice ended down 1.9% at 410.10. Aeronautics closed 2% higher at 7.29 after saying it won a $27 million drone contract from an Asian country, reportedly Thailand. Bezeq group shares were down sharply, with Bezeq itself shedding 2% to 3.82 and B Communications losing 3.9% to 27.15, making it the biggest loser on the TA-125 for the day. (Yoram Gabison)