Daily Roundup / Would-be Partner Pulls Out of Kardan's Chinese Water Venture

Ormat opens U.S. power plant, Netanyahu raises taxes, Israeli fund buys a piece of highway and Teva opens Indian pharma plant.


* Fund pulls out of investment in Kardan NV's Chinese water venture: An unnamed international investment fund was to have acquired around 40 percent of the shares in Kardan Water International Group for 62 million euros, pricing KWIG – a subsidiary of its subsidiary Tahal – at 155 million euros post-money. The final holding was to depend on KWIG's performance in 2013-2015. But late last week, Kardan reported the fund voided the memorandum of understanding the parties had signed: due to differences of opinion, a binding agreement couldn't be reached in a reasonable time frame.

* Ormat running in new Nevada geothermal plant: Mazal tov! Ormat Technologies says McGinness Hills, its spanking new geothermal power plant in Lander County, Nevada, is officially up and running as of Thursday. Its capacity is 30mW, increasing the total capacity of Ormat's power plants to 586mW. Ormat has a 20-year contract in place to sell the new power to NV Energy. The McGinness Hills plant has actually been operational since June 15, but absent commercial permits, it was selling the power to NV at half-price.

* Government declares new taxes, hikes: With tax revenues falling well short of targets, the Netanyahu government plan to hike taxes broadly. At the end of last week, the government announced a number of increases intended to increase revenues by about NIS 11 billion a year. VAT will rise from 16 percent to 17 percent as of Wednesday. Tax on new cars will also apparently go up, and the highest earners will fork over more of their income. The cabinet will discuss the plan on Sunday; stay tuned.

* Housing & Construction selling chunk of toll highway after all: After a year of sparring and apparently doomed negotiations, it seems a deal is nearing finalization. Housing & Construction will be able to sell its 25.5 percent stake in the toll highway Route 6 after all. The breakthrough is reportedly because Housing & Construction decided to bend on price, asking NIS 773 million instead of NIS 700 million. The potential buyer, the Israel Infrastructure Fund, which belongs to a bunch of institutional investors, was charmed. The fund, which includes finance bodies belonging to Bank Leumi and the insurance group Harel, had insisted on a discount due to the deterioration of the business environment in the year since the talks began.

* Teva, Procter & Gamble building India plant: Israeli drugs giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and American behemoth Procter & Gamble will jointly build a pharma plant in the Indian city of Sananad, at an initial investment of $45 million. The plant will make over-the-counter drugs for the Indian and global market. The companies plan to open the plant with 500 employees and later to double the staff with another $45 million investment. The formal announcement will come after the companies sign an agreement with the Gujarati government in January 2013. Teva will have the minority 49 percent interest in the joint venture.

With reporting by Yoram Gabison, Avi Bar-Eli and Moti Bassok