Fishman's Darban Lowers Sights as Investors Fail to Hare for Bonds

Eliezer Fishman ran into trouble raising money for his real estate company Darban this week, and lowered his sights accordingly. Fishman decided to skip the institutional phase of the bond offering entirely. Today he is holding the public phase of the issue.

Sensitive to indications in the marketplace that demand for Darban's bonds was lukewarm, the company scaled back in advance the amount it meant to raise by the maximum it technically could: NIS 30 million, to NIS 126 million.

Clal Industries, Melisron and Property & Building had all recently tapped investors for loans, and had not encountered problems.

The bonds belong to Darban's series of B8 bonds. They are linked to the consumer price index and bear interest of 6.5%, but because their price for the offering was set at the minimum - 97.60 agorot per shekel face value - the effective rate of interest is 7.4%.

According to the prospectus that Darban recently released, 80% of the money will be used to refinance existing debt and to buy back bonds.

The bonds Darban is offering are not backed by anything and are not bound by any financial covenants. Midroog has given them an A2 rating, up to NIS 200 million, but the outlook is Negative. That indicates the credit rating agency may downgrade them in the future.

Elsewhere in the capital market world, Clal Industries and Melisron had no trouble tapping the markets for money. Clal Industries belongs to Nochi Dankner's IDB group and Melisron is controlled by Yuli Ofer.

Clal Industries, which is run by Zvi Livnat and Avi Fisher, on Tuesday finished the institutional phase of a bond offering. The company had planned to bring in NIS 150 million in its offering of new bonds, but met demand of NIS 970 million, which is a tempting thing. So it's raising NIS 205 million from the institutional investors instead. The 5-year bonds are unlinked and bear interest of 5.7%.

At the public phase of its offering today, Clal Industries plans to raise another NIS 45 million, bringing the total to a quarter-billion shekels.

Its parent company, IDB Holding, also intends to raise several hundreds of millions of shekels soon.

Melisron raised NIS 150 million at the institutional phase of its bond offering, and intends to tap the general public for NIS 30 million more. Its bonds are linked to the consumer price index and demand at the institutional phase reached NIS 440 million.