Business in Brief: Zadik Bino Gives Up Control of Paz in Share Sale

TASE chairman: Family companies don’t want to list | Teva files in U.S. to offer innovative Huntington’s treatment | Shares rally despite weaker U.S., Europe markets.

Nir Kafri

Bino gives up control of Paz in share sale

Seventeen years after gaining control of Paz Oil, Zadik Bino sold just enough shares in the energy company to deprive him of the legal minimum for a controlling stake, the company said Sunday. In addition, Bino and three other figures from his Bino Holdings resigned from Paz’s board. Bino Holdings sold 14,093 shares at 582.66 shekels each to an unnamed financial body in an off-the-floor transaction worth 8.2 million shekels ($2.2 million). The sale reduced his stake to 22.90% from 23.08% while trimming his combined stake with his two Australian partners to 29.97%, a hair’s breadth under the 30% that makes them controlling shareholders. Under the terms of the 2013 Business Concentration Law, Bino faces a 2019 deadline to divest his controlling stake of either Paz or First International Bank of Israel, in which he holds a 48% share. The law bars a single owner of a major financial and nonfinancial company. Shares of Paz rose 2.4% to end at 612.20 shekels. (Guy Erez)

TASE chairman: Family companies don’t want to list on bourse

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Chairman Amon Neubach said the bourse was failing to convince family-owned companies to list their shares due to concerns about populist attacks on their management. “I’ve met with 20 to 30 representatives of family companies. They all told me the same thing: Their son or some other relative manages the company and they are worried that the current public discussion will only make it harder for them — no one cares about profitability or remembers that they employ 1,000 workers,” Neubach told a conference of accountants. He also rued record-low interest rates for deterring Israeli companies from using the TASE to raise capital, but said the problem runs deeper. “Our bigger problem is image, We have a situation in which people think a Nasdaq offering is more prestigious, but they forget what happens after the offering.” The TASE has been suffering declining trading volumes and from companies delisting since 2011. (Shelly Appelberg)

Teva files in U.S. to offer innovative Huntington’s treatment

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has filed with U.S. regulators to market an innovative drug for treating a symptom of Huntington’s disease by using deuterium, or heavy hydrogen, Bloomberg News reported over the weekend. If approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Teva’s SD-809 would be the first to use the heavier form of the gas in drugs, slowing the speed at which they break down in the body and enabling a patient to take them less frequently while reducing the severity of side effects. FDA approval of SD-809, which reduces involuntary movements caused by Huntington’s disease, could open a market worth tens of billions of dollars, Bloomberg quoted Roger Tung of Concert Pharmaceuticals, a company also developing treatments with deuterium. Teva, which last week announced a tie-up with Intel to monitor Huntington patients via their smartphones, said is confident the drug will reach patients next year. Teva shares ended down 0.8% at 194.70 shekels ($51.55). (TheMarker)

Shares rally despite weaker U.S., Europe markets

Tel Aviv shares ignored weaker markets in the U.S. and Europe Friday to post strong gains on Sunday. The TA-25 and TA-100 indexes each both rose about 0.9%, to 1,447.44 and 1,267.49 points, respectively, on turnover of 579 million shekels ($153.3 million). Bezeq was the most active share for the day, advancing 2.2% to 7.52 shekels. The company said it would pay 462 million shekels in taxes for buying the shares in Yes it didn’t already own. Perrigo rose 0.9% to 35.270. Reuters reported on Friday that the company said it was exploring a sale of the royalties from its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, one of the steps the activist investor Starboard called for last week. Camtek shares rose 5.2% to 10.22 shekels after the company said its Priortech planned to sell 5.4 million of its Camtek shares, or a third of its total holding, in a rights offering. Kenon jumped 7.3% to 39.06 to lead gains on the TA-100. (Guy Erez)