The Ticker / Incubator Operator Trendlines Readying for IPO in Singapore

888’s bid for Bwin upstaged by GVC; Bank of Israel holds base rate unchanged; Tel Aviv shares are mixed as Teva rallies amid China jitters

Ofer Vaknin

Trendlines, which operates three technology incubators for medical and agricultural startups, is preparing for an initial public offering in Singapore that would value the company at between $80 million and $100 million, TheMarker has learned.

The company pulled a planned IPO in Toronto at the last minute in 2014 aimed at raising as much as $20 million. If it goes ahead with the IPO, Trendlines would join four other Israeli companies traded on the Singapore Exchange, including the medical device maker QT Vascular and the computer-vision maker Artivision Technologies.

Trendlines, which is managed by founders Todd Dollinger and Steve Rhodes, invests in up to 10 startups every year and has today more than 50 in its portfolio. Zeev Bronfeld, whose holdings include publicly traded Protalix, is the biggest shareholders with a 23.2% stake. The company declined to comment on its IPO plans. (Eran Azran)

888’s bid for Bwin upstaged by GVC

888, the London-listed gaming company controlled by Israeli brothers Avi and Aaron Shaked, found itself Monday facing a surprise counter offer for Bwin.party Digital Entertainment.

GVC Holdings, which 888 had outbid a week earlier with a 900 million pound offer for Bwin, returned with a 1-billion-pound ($1.55 billion) bid. Bwin, which has struggled with the decline of regulated poker markets in Europe, confirmed it had received a new offer from GVC and said it would make an announcement when appropriate. GVC’s offer of 122.5 pence per share, consisting of 25p in cash and the rest in new GVC shares, is 18 percent higher than 888’s offer price of 104.09 pence.

But analysts at Panmure Gordon wrote in a note that “over the long term 888 would add more value.” 888 declined to comment on whether it planned to raise its offer, though analysts said they widely expected it to do so. Shares of 888 fell 2.1% to 171.25 pence. (Reuters)

Bank of Israel holds base rate unchanged

The Bank of Israel held its base lending rate at 0.1% for August, with analysts saying prospects for a rate cut or other measures any time in the foreseeable future receding.

The central bank, which cut the rate to 0.1% four months ago, said lower world energy prices and a strong shekel might delay the return of the inflation rate to inside the government’s target. It noted that the shekel had appreciated against nominal effective exchange rates this month 2.5%, but attributed that to a weaker euro.

Shmuel Ben-Aryeh, head of investments at Pioneer Group, said the Bank of Israel would decide to act only after the U.S. Federal Reserve acts. “Only a strong rise in the shekel that hurts exports would cause the Bank of Israel to act before the Fed,” he said. Ofer Klein, chief economist at Harel Insurance & Finance, said the bank’s announcement signaled it would not use non-conventional monetary tolls, namely quantitative easing, despite generally “disappointing” economic data. (Dror Reich)

Tel Aviv shares are mixed as Teva rallies amid China jitters

Tel Aviv shares ended mixed on Monday after a long four-day weekend break as a skyrocketing Teva Pharmaceuticals share price (see story on this page) offset the impact of another big sell-off in China.

The benchmark TA-25 index ended down 0.2% at 1,697.92 points, while the TA-100 edged 0.05% higher to 1,467.32, as trading in Teva lifted overall volume to 2.13 billion shekels ($560  million), nearly double the usual.

Energy shares rallied, with Avner gaining 1.4% to 2.96, Delek Drilling rising 1.3% to 15.70 shekels and Ratio 3.1% to 37 agorot. But biotech shares paced a sharp drop in tech shares generally. Opko Health dropped 6.4% to close at 62.50 shekels and Compugen lost 5.3% to 24.05.

Alon Blue Square, parent of the embattled Mega supermarket chain, was the biggest loser among TA-100 shares, ending down 9.4% at 3.83 shekels. In the foreign currency trading, the dollar lost 0.5% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.8060, and the euro strengthened 0.8% to 4.2150. (Dror Reich)