The Ticker / Check Point Buys Israeli Startup for an Estimated $100 Million

New York developer Extell raises 600 milion shekels; Bino hands over shares to children; TA-25 closes at record high before Pesach.

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check point
Check Point founder Gil Shwed.Credit: Moti Milrod

Check Point Software Technologies said yesterday it will buy the Israeli startup Lacoon Mobile Security in order to enhance its offerings for protecting cellphones. Check Point said it was paying “tens of millions of dollars” for Lacoon, which was founded in 2011 and employs 40 people, but market sources estimated the price was $100 million. Lacoon’s product, whose customers include Samsung, Intel and Dell, will be integrated into Check Point’s Capsule mobile security solution. “Companies are not necessarily protecting the data on mobile devices properly,” Check Point CEO Gil Shwed said, adding that Check Point’s product will be targeted at enterprises. “We found that Lacoon had the best and most advanced solution to prevent threats.” Check Point shares were up 0.2% at $82.14 late morning local time in New York. (Inbal Orpaz and Omri Zerachovitz)

New York developer Extell raises 600 milion shekels

Extell, the New York real estate company controlled by Gary Barnett, completed a 600 million-shekel (253 million) bond sale yesterday, its second on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The company raised 155.5 million shekels in the public tranche Thursday, adding to the 444.5 million shekels it raised on Monday from institutional investors. With the latest sale, Extell has issued 1.65 billion shekels in debt in Tel Aviv, making it the biggest of a handful of American real estate developers that have tapped the Tel Aviv market in the past year. The public tranche was heavily oversubscribed, which enabled Extell to sell the bonds with an interest rate of 6%, 10 basis points lower than the institutional tranche. Extell has a $2-billion real estate portfolio, including marquee properties such as the W Hotel on Times Square and the One57 luxury condominium building. The bonds were rated A2, a medium-high rating, by the Midroog agency. (Eran Azran)

Bino hands over shares to children

Apparently fearing Israel’s next government may impose an estate tax, investor Zadik Bino has turned over most of the shares in the holding company that controls First International Bank of Israel to his children, a filing with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange yesterday showed. Bino’s three children now each hold 25% of closely held Binohon, which owns the bank through another holding company, publicly traded FIBI Holdings. Not only did Bino sell down his majority 52.5% stake in the company, he also revoked his power of attorney over his children’s shares, giving his offspring full rights to the stock. Bino didn’t say why he made the move, but Finance Minister-designate Moshe Kahlon has said he wants to impose a tax of up to 25% on estates worth 10 million shekels ($2.5 million) or more. (Sivan Aizescu)

TA-25 closes at record high before Pesach

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange ended yesterday at a record high ahead of Passover, which begins Friday evening, with blue chips lifting the market. The TA-25 index finished up 0.6% at 1,640.87 points, while the TA-100 advanced 0.5% to 1,428.50, on turnover of 1.3 billion shekels ($330 million). For the week, the TA-25 rose 2.9% and the TA—100 2.2%. “In contrast to the United States in recent days, the Israeli market has demonstrated continued strength and the options on the TA-25 break record after record,” said Boaz Zaliah, CEO of the investment house Top Alpha. “The lack of progress in the Iranian nuclear talks in Lausanne hasn’t affected the bourse in any observable way.” TowerJazz led the most actives, rising 1.7% to 67.67 at close, Teva Pharmaceuticals added 1.6% to 249.30 and Gilat Satellite, rose 3.4% to 25.23. But telecoms stocks Bezeq and Partner were down, respectively, 1.5% to 7.39 and 3.1% to 10.37. LiverPerson tumbled for a second day, shedding 4.9% to 38.60. The TASE closes early Sunday to Wednesday for the intermediate days of Passover. (Dror Reich) 

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