Business in Brief: Teva Slates 2,000-3,000 Job Cuts After Actavis Acquisition to Cut Costs

Delek Drilling to dual-list shares abroad after Avner merger; Fruatarm posts 10% rise in quarterly profit, vows to cut costs in 2017; Shares closed mixed as dollar and euro resume their losses on the shekel.

An employee of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries at the company's Jerusalem oral solid dosage plant,    December 21, 2011.
Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

Teva slates 2,000-3,000 job cuts after Actavis acquisition to cut costs

Teva Pharmaceuticals plans to lay off between 2,000 and 3,000 of its 57,000-strong global workforce as part of a drive to cut costs after its $37 billion acquisition of Actavis Generics last year, sources said Thursday. “The plan includes among other things closing unprofitable activities and merging functions together with a freeze in hiring and employees leaving voluntarily,” Teva said, saying reports of 6,000 layoffs that were leaked earlier in the day were incorrect. Teva employs 6,900 people in Israel. The sources did not say where the job cuts would be made, but most will be redudancies resulting from the Actavis takeover. The acquisition saddled Teva with $36 billion in debt that the company is determined to reduce, particularly after losing a patent case it had hoped would defend its best-selling Copaxone multiple-sclerosis drug from generic competition. Teva shares rose 1.3%% to 120.20shekels ($32.93). (Yoram Gabison) 

Delek Drilling to dual-list shares abroad after Avner merger

Delek Drilling, a partner in the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields, plans to dual list its shares overseas after it completes its merger with sister company Avner Oil Exploration. “Listing in a foreign stock exchange aims to increase trading volumes, increase the investor base for the partnership and improve its access to financial markets,” Delek Drilling said Thursday in its fourth-quarter financial report. The merger of Delek Drilling and Avner — units of Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group with almost identical operations and holdings — will create one of Israel’s 10 biggest public companies. Delek Drilling and Avner posted a 50% increase in net profit for 2016, to $326.9 million, mostly as a result of the government-ordered sale of the tiny Karish and Tanin gas fields. Revenues climbed 10% to $542 million. Their parent company, Delek Group, is also seeking a listing, in either New York or London. Delek Drilling shares ended down 1.5% at 13.20 shekels ($3.62). (Eran Azran)

Fruatarm posts 10% rise in quarterly profit, vows to cut costs in 2017

Frutarom, a maker of flavors and fine ingredients, said Thursday its adjusted net profit climbed 10.3% in the fourth quarter, to $33.9 million. Sales rose 28%, to a fourth-quarter record of $289 million, boosted by nine acquisitions during 2016 at a total cost of $255 million. Operating margin fell slightly to 14.3%, but CEO Ori Yehudai said he expected an improvement this year. “Merging and streamlining measures will also contribute in the coming years to strengthening our competitiveness and improving profits and profitability with ... operational savings in an annual range of $20 million to $22 million that will come into play gradually over the course of 2017,” he said. Frutarom said it was advancing toward achieving a sales target of at least $2 billion by 2020, with an EBITDA margin from core activities of more than 22%. Frutarom shares closed 3.7% higher at 209.30 shekels ($57.33). (Yoram Gabison) 

Shares closed mixed as dollar and euro resume their losses on the shekel

Tel Aviv shares closed mixed yesterday as the dollar’s weakness resumed despite a mighty effort by the Bank of Israel this week. The blue-chip TA-35 index ended unchanged at 1,415.99 points, while the TA-125 rose 0.15% to 1,266.08. Turnover was 1.52 billion shekels ($420 million). In foreign currency trading, the dollar and the euro each lost about 0.3% to Bank of Israel rates of 3.6450 and 3.9316 shekels, respectively. Both currencies had strengthened sharply the day before after the central bank bought dollars. Insurance shares were higher, with Migdal rising 2.2% to 3.82 shekels after it reported fourth-quarter net climbed to 363 million shekels from 207 million shekels the year before. Clal Insurance, which turned in a big improvement in quarterly results the day before, soared 5.2% to 61.160. Azorim led TA-125 shares higher in a 6.3% advance to 4.16 and El Al Airline added 3.7% to 2.80. (Uri Tomer)