Business in Brief: Tel Aviv Shares End Mixed

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Inside the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. If you started feeling wealthy in 2013, restrain yourself, because 2013 was an extraordinary year, not an average one. Credit: Ariel Shalit

N-trig plans Tel Aviv Stock Exchange debut

N-trig, an Israeli startup that has developed a digital pen for smartphones and tablets, is planning a $20 million initial public offering for trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The company, for which backers once held out high hopes, is raising the money at a mere $75 million valuation -- just over half the $130 million its investors have put into it to date. N-trig’s active pen and multi-touch technologies provide users with digital input functionality as a complement to ordinary touch functions. The company had been producing an integrated pen and touch screen technology, but subsequently re-focused on licensing its pens and related chips to smartphone and tablet makers. N-trig had revenue of $20.6 million in the first half of the year, selling 1.3 million pens, and had a gross margin of about 40%. Leader Underwriting is managing the offering. (Dror Reich)

Clal Biotech unit reacheslicensing deal with Medivation

Clal Biotechnology said over the weekend that its 53%-owned CureTech unit had reached a licensing, manufacturing and distribution agreement with U.S-based Medivation that could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars. Under the accord, Medivation will pay an initial $5 million, with another $85 million in payments due if CureTech reaches milestones for clinical development and wins regulatory approval for its Pidilizumab, or CT-011, cancer treatment. If Pidilizumab is developed commercially, CureTech will be entitled to payments that could reach as high as $245 million, so long as sales reach at least $400 million. CureTech would also receives royalties of 5% to 11% on sales. All this will take a few years, as CT-011 is still in Phase II clinical trials. Shares of Clal Biotechology, jumped 10.4% to close at 4.29 shekels ($1.13) in Tel Aviv on Sunday. (Ami Ginzberg)

IDB Development plans rights offering after shares plunge

IDB Development Corporation will act quickly to make a rights offering of between 180 million and 250 million shekels ($66.1 million) to assuage investors after the holding company’s share price plunged 11% last week. IDB said over the weekend that its board had approved the offering, under which its two controlling shareholders – Eduardo Elsztain and Moti Ben-Moshe – will put up 69 million shekels of their own capital. That, in effect, means they are injecting some of the money they were due to put into IDB in 2015 already this year. All told, it will mean they have injected some 1.2 billion shekels into IDB since they gained control of the company at the start of 2014. Further terms have not been determined, IDB said. To cut costs, the board agreed to unify management of IDB with its Discount Investment Corporation unit, which controls companies like Cellcom Israel and Super-Sol. IDB fell 4.4% to close at 3.36 shekels in Tel Aviv (Michael Rochvarger)

TA-25 ends lower on European bank worries

Tel Aviv shares ended mixed on Sunday, as the TA-25 index lost altitude in the afternoon to end lower after the European Central Bank reported that roughly one in five of the Euro zone’s top lenders failed landmark health checks at the end of last year, although most have since repaired their finances. The benchmark index was down 0.01% at close at 1,445.64 while the TA-100 was up 0.02% at 1,293.38. Turnover was a tiny 427 million shekels ($112.9 million). Israel Chemicals resumed its post-Sheshinski advance, adding 1.8% to 26.62 shekels in active trading. Silicom likewise extended gains it made after releasing third-quarter results last week, ending up 3.5% at 123.40. Gilat Satellite rose 1.5% to a close of 18.60 shekels after the FIMI fund said it was offering some 5.1 million shares, or 12% of Gilat, at $4.95, a 2.5% premium on Gilat’s Friday Nasdaq closing. The pgovernment’s 10-year shekel bond climbed 0.41% to lower its yield to 2.05%. “Rumors that the Bank of Israel plans to buy government bonds continues the support of longer-dated debt, even if there are doubts about how effective such a step would be,” said Idan Azoulay, investments manager at CEO Epsilon Mutual Funds.(Eran Azran)

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