The Ticker: Teva in Generic Tie-up With Japan’s Takeda

Rami Levy shares slump on disappointing third quarter; Alon Blue Square, Dor Energy sell Diners Club stake.

Teva's headquarters in Jerusalem.
Teva's headquarters in Jerusalem.Credit: Bloomberg

Teva in generic tie-up with Japan’s Takeda

Teva Pharmaceutical said Monday it had reached an agreement with Japan’s Takeda to form a joint venture to sell its portfolio of generic drugs to Japan to provide affordable medications to an aging population. Teva, the world’s largest generic drug maker, will have a 51% stake in the new company and Takeda will hold the rest. The companies did not disclose financial details of the partnership, which will begin in the second quarter of 2016. Siggi Olafsson, head of Teva’s generic medicines division, said the JV would “lead the high growth in the generic market in Japan and is aligned with the Japanese government objectives to reach 80% generic penetration by the end of fiscal year 2020.” Tokyo has been promoting lower-cost generic drugs to help contain rising healthcare costs. Separately, Teva said Monday it had begun selling $6.75 billion of new shares to help finance its purchase of Allergan’s generics business. Teva shares dropped 3.2% to close at 237.10 shekels ($61.25) in very heavy trading. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Rami Levy shares slump on disappointing third quarter

Rami Levy shares tumbled on Monday after it reported a drop in third-quarter profit as well as a decline in its operating performance. The discount supermarket chain said net profit plunged 23% from a year ago to 15.8 million shekels ($4.1 million) while a key industry benchmark — sales from all stores that have been opened at least a year — were down 3.2%. Sales per square meter were also down 17.35 shekels from 20.38 shekels, as the retailer added new stores which drew less traffic and were less profitable. Rami Levy, the founder and CEO, called the downturn a function of the company’s rapid growth and the deep discounting supermarkets have resorted to, in a war for customers. The food retailer, however, did report a 16% increase in sales to 1.02 billion shekels after it opened seven new stores. Rami Levy shares, which had risen 20% in the past 12 months, ended down on Monday 5% at 179.50 shekels. (Eran Azran) 

Alon Blue Square, Dor Energy sell Diners Club stake

Alon Blue Square and Don Alon Energy said late on Sunday it had agreed to sell their combined 49% stake in the credit card issuer Diner Club Israel to Israel Discount Bank for a price that could reach as much as 150 million shekels ($38.75 million). The bank already controls 51% of Diners Israel, so that the sale, which must clear approvals, would make it sole owner. Alon, which is seeking to raise cash to meet a heavy debt load, said its share of the proceeds would be 97 million shekels. Meanwhile, TheMarker has learned that the discount food retailer is in talks to buy 10 You stores, a sub-brand of Alon Blue Square’s ailing Mega supermarket chain, for 40 million shekels. The talks come as Mega moves ahead with plans to shutter 32 stores as part of its debt-bailout agreement. Shares of Alon Blue Square and Discount both ended down 0.9% at 1.17 shekels and 7.14 shekels, respectively. (Eran Azran and Michael Rochvarger)

Tel Aviv shares slip into red at session’s end

Tel Aviv shares slipped into minus territory at the end of the day Monday in heavy trading amid concerns about a slowing Chinese economy. The benchmark TA-25 index lost 0.16% to finish at 1,560.50 points, while the TA-100 lost 0.15% to 1,343.51, as 2.18 billion shekels ($560 million) in shares changed hands. Insurance stocks rallied on apparently erroneous reports that the government had approved the sale of Phoenix to China’s Fosun Group. Phoenix ended 2.1% higher at 9.29 and Clal Insurance, which is also likely to be sold to Chinese buyers, added 2.7% to 55.72. Gilat Satellite extended its gain from Sunday, closing 8.5% up at 15.64 after holding company Mivtach Shamir boosted its stake. Israel Chemicals rose 2.9% to close at 19.47. In the fixed-income market, the government’s 10-year Shahar bond fell 0.27% to a yield of 2.13%. The euro lost 0.7% to end at a 14-year low against the shekel of 4.0995. (Shelly Appelberg)