The Ticker: TowerJazz Gets $70M in New Financing for Its Joint Venture With Panasonic

Eduardo Elsztain agrees to lend IDB Development NIS 215 million; Teva gets FDA approval for cancer drug; TASE indexes slip.

TowerJazz chip-fabrication plant.
TowerJazz

TowerJazz gets $70 million in new financing for its joint venture with Panasonic

TowerJazz, the Migdal Haemek-based integrated circuit manufacturer, has signed an agreement with a consortium of Japanese banks to provide $70 million in new loans to its joint venture with Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions for terms of up to five years at variable rates of 2% over the Japanese interbank rate. The new loans follow an existing $72 million in financing for the joint venture, known as TowerJazz Panasonic Semiconductor, repayment of which begins next year. The new loan agreement will give the company, 51% of which is owned by the Israeli partner, a strong base from which to pursue its growth strategy, said Amit Mappa, CFO of TowerJazz Panasonic. The Japanese banks providing the new loans are A Mitsui Leasing, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust and Showa Leasing. (Yoram Gabison)

Eduardo Elsztain agrees to lend IDB Development NIS 215 million

After protracted negotiations with the trustees of IDB bondholders, Eduardo Elsztain, the chairman and controlling shareholder of IDB Development, has agreed to provide a 215 million shekel ($55.7 million) shareholder loan to the company. The agreement follows a dispute in recent months over Elsztain’s obligations to minority shareholders of IDB Development, the company at the top of the IDB group, which includes such major fixtures on the corporate scene as Super-Sol supermarkets and Cellcom Israel, the cellular service provider. Elsztain has agreed to provide the funding at an annual interest rate of just 0.5%. It includes 93 million shekels for IDB’s Discount Investment Corp., which is due to complete the first phase of the issuance of 125 million shekels in warrants on December 21. The balance of the funding will be used for payments to bondholders and banks over the course of the month. (Michael Rochvarger) 

Teva gets FDA approval for cancer drug

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said on Tuesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved an injectable and infusion version of its cancer drug bendamustine. The drug, sold under the brand name Bendeka, is approved for treating cancer patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Teva, which has licensed the drug from Eagle Pharmaceuticals, is responsible for all U.S. commercial activities for Bendeka. The approval followed a legal victory for Teva this week with recognition by the European Patent Office of a new version of its Copaxone multiple sclerosis drug that will remain in effect until 2030. Teva shares closed up 0.59% higher in trading on the Tel Aviv exchange Tuesday to 254.70 shekels ($65.68). (Reuters and TheMarker)

TASE indexes slip

The blue-chip Tel Aviv 25 index slipped by 0.86% to 1,542.38 points on Tuesday, while the Tel Aviv 100 index slid by 0.83% to 1,329.10.  Trading volume on the day was just under 1.2 billion shekels ($309 million.) Energy stocks were down, led by Avner Oil Exploration, which declined by 3.44% to 2.44 shekels per share, although the Oil and Gas index saw gains earlier in the trading day in advance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Knesset committee appearance on his government’s policy blueprint for the offshore gas industry. The corporate bond indexes declined by 0.1% to 0.2%. Among stocks of note, Hadera Paper shares dropped by 7.21% to 113.30 shekels after the company announced that it was considering raising 150 million shekels through a share offering. Plurastem Therapeutics shares fell 6.82% to 5.23 shekels on a day on which the Haifa-based biotechnology firm released news near the close of trade of the end of a business partnership. Collplant Holdings, which develops collagen-based medical products, announced on Tuesday that interim results for a clinical trial of a drug designed to treat tendon inflammation were positive. Nonetheless its shares ended the day off 3.38% at 0.51 shekels. (Uri Tomer)