Tel Aviv Shares Finish Little Changed in Light Trading

Business in Brief | Ahead of IPO, Zap expects to post $11.8m net on $78.8m revenues ■ Internet Gold to sell Bezeq stake by auction under compromise reached with banks ■ Castro-Hoodies merger will undermine market power of mall operators

A student group exits after visiting the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016
Rina Castelnuovo/Bloomberg

Ahead of IPO, Zap expects to post $11.8m net on $78.8m revenues

Zap Group, whose initial public offering is one of the most anticipated of the year on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, expected to post a 43 million shekel ($11.8 million) net profit this year on revenues to 287 million shekels, according to the confidential prospectus filed with the Israel Securities Authority and seen by TheMarker. The company, which has enjoyed strong growth in recent years, amid an explosion of online shopping by Israeli consumers, is expected to pay a dividend of 4% or 5%, eventually growing to 15%. Zap, which operates price comparison and other consumer-oriented websites, is 90%-owned by the British private equity fund Apax Partners, which acquired it three years ago at a 145 million shekel valuation. (Guy Erez and Michael Rochvarger)

Internet Gold to sell Bezeq stake by auction under compromise reached with banks

Internet Gold will sell its controlling stake in Bezeq, Israel’s biggest telecoms company, by auction sometime in the next few months under a compromise agreement it worked out with creditor banks of its parent company, Eurocom Communications. The agreement came after the banks objected to Internet Gold’s plan to sell its 65% stake in B Communications, which holds a controlling 26.3% stake in Bezeq, to the brothers Tzahi and Chen Neuman. Two investment banks will oversee the sale, one of them already retained by Internet Gold. In addition, the banks will get four seats on Internet Gold’s board, two more than they have now, by virtue of Eurocom’s 55% stake in the company. The banks are owed 1.6 billion shekels ($440 million) by Eurocom and took control of the company from fallen tycoon Shaul Elovitch last month. The compromise will be presented to Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday. Internet Gold shares ended up 1.9% at 9.89 shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)

Castro-Hoodies merger will undermine market power of mall operators

Shopping malls share reacted calmly to Monday’s news that Castro was buying the 74% of Hoodies group it doesn’t already own. But observers of the retail scene said the merger, creating Israeli biggest fashion-retail group by sales, would undermine the power of big mall operators like Azrieli Group and Melisron to dictate rents and other terms. Even before the merger, Castro and the other big two retailers Fox and Gottex accounted for 36% of apparel sales in Israel. The big three will be in especially strong position to negotiate with mall operators because they have a portfolio of stores that need space. That strikes a big blow against the mall companies who already face overcapacity and growing competition from online shopping. (Adi Dovrat-Meseritz)

Tel Aviv shares finish little changed in light trading

Tel Aviv shares finished Tuesday almost unchanged in light, directionless trading. The TA-35 and TA-125 indices edged up less than 0.1% to 1,525.02 and 1,375.55 points, respectively, on turnover of just 823 million shekels ($227 million). Among top gainers, Jerusalem Economy Corporation finished 4.25% higher at 8.84 shekels after it said it was weighing a merger with its Industrial Building unit. Industrial Buildings rose 5.2% to 4.72. Foresight jumped 11.6% to 2.69 after it said it signed of a non-binding memorandum of understanding with an unnamed Israeli importer of several leading automakers for the sale of Foresight’s Eyes-On system for aftermarket configuration. Other big gainers were Opko Health, which added 4.4% to 16.96, and Housing & Construction Limited, which rose 2.9% to 6.65. Azorim led losers on the TA-125, sinking 3.8% to 3.41. In foreign currency trading, the dollar strengthened more than 0.4% to a representative rate of 3.6310 shekels. (Michael Rochvarger)