The Ticker: Strauss-PepsiCo Joint Venture Sabra Recalls Hummus in U.S.

Los Angeles-based Saidoff brothers make offer for Africa Israel Investments; Cellcom pushed to remove Michael Golan from talks to sell Golan Telecom; Tech and telco stocks send Tel Aviv higher.

PepsiCo Inc. Sabra brand hummus are displayed for sale at a ShopRite Holdings Ltd. grocery store in Stratford, Connecticut, U.S., Aug. 3, 2011.
Paul Taggart, Bloomberg

Sabra Dipping Company, the joint venture maker of hummus and other prepared salads controlled by Israel’s Strauss Group and PepsiCo, is voluntarily recalling some hummus products and spreads because of possible Listeria contamination, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Saturday. Although no bacteria has been found in products that have been tested, the FDA said Listeria monocytogenes had been found in the plant where the products were manufactured before November 8 and distributed to stores in the United States and Canada. The FDA urged consumers to discard any product with a “Best Before” date through January 23, 2017, not including Sabra Organic Hummus, Sabra Salsa, Sabra Guacamole and Sabra Greek Yogurt Dips. Sabra recalled 30,000 cases of hummus in April 2015 because of fears of Listeria contamination. Strauss shares ended down 1.2% at 60.28 shekels ($15.51). (Yoram Gabison)

Los Angeles-based Saidoff brothers make offer for Africa Israel Investments

Less than three months after it made a failed bid for control of Jerusalem Economy Corporation, the Los Angeles-based Saidoff brothers are pursuing another financially troubled property company, this time Africa Israel Investments. Africa Israel told the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that Naty and Ofer Saidoff were offering, through the British Virgin Islands company Shayma Investments, to buy the company for 1 million shekels ($260,000) cash, taking it private and repaying bondholders half the 2.8 billion Africa Israel owes them and forcing them to write off the rest. The 1.4 billion would be repaid in two stages – 600 million immediately after the Saidoffs get control of the company and 400 million 120 days alter. The remaining debt of 400 million would stay on Africa’s books as bonds paying interest of 5% annually. The offer comes several days after the U.S. investment fund Westport made an offer for the company. Africa Israel shares plunged 23% to 90 agorot. (TheMarker Staff)

Cellcom pushed to remove Michael Golan from talks to sell Golan Telecom

Cellcom Israel had a hand in removing Michael Golan as the chief negotiator in talks to sell his Golan Telecom, telco industry sources said over the weekend. Cellcom, Israel’s biggest mobile company, last week took a 40 million-shekel ($10.3 million) hit in its third-quarter earnings because Golan Telecom hasn’t paid all of a 600 million-shekel debt it owes and won’t repay it until the company has been sold. But Cellcom suspected that Michael Golan was trying to torpedo the sale and wanted him out. Golan confirmed that Michael Golan had indeed been replaced as chief negotiator by Patrick Pariente, a minority shareholder, but said Golan wasn’t forced out. “If someone thinks Michael Golan was taken all of sudden by surprise one morning, they are wrong,” said a source at Golan. “Michael, [Xavier] Niel and Patrick work as one. Cellcom wants Patrick to manage the talks and both sides agreed to that.” Cellcom shares ended 2.35% higher at 29.33 shekels. (Ruti Levy)

Tech and telco stocks send Tel Aviv higher

Tel Aviv shares ended higher after a listless last week, with tech and telco shares pacing gains. The blue chip TA-25 index finished up almost 0.4% to 1,437.59, while the TA-100 added more than 0.5% to 1,258.00, on turnover of 614 million shekels ($158 million). Elbit Systems led the most actives on a 1.4% gain to 401 shekels after its CEO said last week that the Trump administration could spell higher sales for the company. Electra Consumer products gained 2.3% to 56.53 after it said on Sunday it had agreed to buy the Israeli distributor of Huawei products. Among drug stocks, Perrigo added 2.3% to 339 after activist investor Starboard said it boosted its Perrigo stake to 6.2% last week. Investment house Halman-Aldubi warned that markets face a volatile period as investors assess the impact of the incoming Trump administration. It recommended investors weight their holdings to domestic stocks over foreign ones because of better Israeli valuations. (Shelly Appelberg)