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Permira Said to Show Interest in Discount’s Given Stake

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Permira Advisers LLP is among the private-equity firms considering the acquisition of a stake in Israeli medical-device maker Given Imaging Ltd., according to a person with direct knowledge of the talks.

Discount Investment Corp. is in talks to sell all or part of its 45.5 percent stake in Given, said the person, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Given, the Yokneam-based maker of a pill-sized camera to diagnose gastrointestinal illnesses, this month abandoned a plan to find a buyer for the whole company and said Discount wanted to sell its stake in one block.

Given gained 3.9 percent to 61.40 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv, giving the company a market value of 1.9 billion shekels ($510 million). The U.S.-traded shares gained 4.2 percent to $16.57 at 9:46 a.m. in New York. Discount, which holds Given shares directly and indirectly, climbed 3 percent to 13 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv.

Tycoon Nochi Dankner’s IDB Holding Corp., which indirectly controls Discount, has been selling assets including a stake in Clal Industries & Investments Ltd. as the company seeks to avoid default on its debt.

A spokeswoman for London-based Permira declined to comment on Given, as did a spokeswoman for Tel Aviv-based Discount.

Fuji, Samsung

Given, which sells its video capsules to peek into the small bowel and esophagus, is hoping to receive approval to market the product for inspecting the large intestine. The company is seeking regulatory approval in Japan and the U.S. for its PillCam Colon 2, for patients who can’t undergo or complete colonoscopies.

Companies including Johnson & Johnson, Fujifilm Holdings Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. held unsuccessful talks with Given about an acquisition, the person said. New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation, a spokeswoman said in an e-mail. Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung declined to comment on market rumors, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

A phone call made to Fujifilm in Tokyo outside of regular business hours was directed to an automated recording that didn’t take messages.

Permira’s interest in Given was reported earlier today by the Israeli newspaper Globes.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Wainer in Tel Aviv at dwainer3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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