Business in Brief: Property Developer Aviv Group Gearing Up for Initial Public Offering

Clal rejects both offers for Jafora shares made by Kerur ■ Kobi Alexander estimates Comverse affair cost him $130 million ■ Shares end lower as dollar gains on shekel

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Israel's new set of 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekel bills released in February 2018.
Israel's new set of 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekel bills released in February 2018.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Property developer Aviv Group gearing up for initial public offering

Doron Aviv and Dafna Harlev are gearing up to take their third real estate company public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, TheMarker has learned. The two, who are the son and daughter of the late property magnate Moshe Aviv, have begun meeting with underwriters about plans for an initial public offering of their Aviv Group (or alternatively some of its portfolio) at a company valuation of at least 500 million shekels ($141.2 million) based on its first-half 2018 results. Besides shares, Aviv Group will also sell publicly traded bonds. Aviv and Harlev have been in the property market for 40 years and inherited the business from their father after he died in 2001. In addition to the Aviv group, they control 42% of the TASE-traded company Aviv Arlon and controlled publicly-traded Ofic before selling it a decade ago to Russian businessman Arkadi Gaydamak. Aviv Group develops and owns residential and commercial real estate, including the Moshe Aviv Tower in Ramat Gan, Israel’s second-tallest building.  (Eran Azran)

Clal rejects both offers for Jafora shares made by Kerur

Clal Industries on Monday rejected both offers from Kerur to buy its 30.5% stake in their joint venture soft drinks company Jafora.  Unless Kerur improves its offer, it appears that Clal, a holding company controlled by U.S. investor Len Blavatnik, will go ahead with its original plan to spin off its Jafora shares into a new company and sell 46% of them to the public in an initial public offering.  Kerur, which controls the rest of Jafora, had offered to buy all of Clal’s stake for 375 million shekels ($106 million) or just the portion of the stake Clal was planning to sell on the stock market. Neither of the two offers value Jafora at more than 1.2 billion shekels, substantially less than that the 2 billion in Clal’s spin-off plan. Jafora, whose products include Spring fruit drinks, RC Cola and Schweppes, controls 265 of the Israeli soft drinks market. Kerur shares ended down 0.3% at 108.60 shekels. (Yoram Gabison)

Kobi Alexander estimates Comverse affair cost him $130 million

Kobi Alexander told an Israeli parole board that the stock options affair at Comverse Technology that led to his conviction for securities violations cost him $130 million in payments and lost income. The ex-founder and CEO of Comverse, once the pride of Israeli high-tech, said he paid $60 million in penalties for the United States and gave up $70 million in payments that he was due from the company. “I am ashamed to be here, I am ashamed I ever got to this situation. I never thought I would ever be in a situation like this,” he said in remarks made at the end of March and released to the public on Sunday. Alexander fled the U.S. ahead of his 2006 indictment but agreed to face charges a decade later. He was sentenced to 30 months prison, part of which he served in Israel. Alexander told the parole board, which later voted to conditionally release him early, that he had no plan to return to business. 
(Jasmin Gueta)   

Shares end lower as dollar gains on shekel

Tel Aviv shares ended lower on Monday as the dollar strengthened against the shekel. The benchmark TA-35 index shed 0.75% to end at 1,480.67 points, while the TA-125 dropped 0.5% to 1,344.40, as 1.41 billion shekels ($400 million) in shares changed hands. Among the blue chip losers, Bank Leumi fell 1.5% to close at 21.45 shekels, Frutarom dropped sharply for a second day by 2.1% to 355 and Elbit Systems lost 1.8% to 440.10. Cannabis stocks ended a rally of several days, with Medivie dropping 11.8% to 88.95 and Together dropping 9.1% to 15.25.  The TA-Technology index was the only sectoral one to post a gain; paced gains of 15.5% to 2.48 for Foresight and a 2.5% rise to 98.75 for Nova. Modiin rose 9.3% to 7.72 after reporting that tests at its Bordeaux drilling site in California showed “significant indications of petroleum.” In foreign currency trading, the dollar gained 0.6% to a representative rate of 3.5440 shekels. (Guy Erez)