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Evogene Signals Possible U.S. Listing as Israel ‘Not Enough’

May 13 (Bloomberg) -- Evogene Ltd., which uses plant genomics to develop products for the agriculture and biofuel industries, is weighing additional listings as the company seeks to draw investors from abroad.

“We are currently in the Tel Aviv 100 Index but that’s not enough,” Ofer Haviv, chief executive officer of the Rehovot, Israel-based company, told Bloomberg in the sidelines of a Tel Aviv conference today. “We’ve been considering different funding options and we think it would be optimal for Evogene to ultimately trade in a market where expertise of the agricultural sector is high. Much of our market is in North America so that’s a strong consideration for us.”

Evogene dropped 1 percent to 18.76 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv, giving it a market value of 706 million shekels ($196 million). The company listed in Tel Aviv in June 2007 after spinning off from Tel Aviv-based Compugen Ltd. and has a 0.30 percent weighting in the capitalization-weighted index of 100 stocks traded in Tel Aviv.

Israeli technology companies from Nes Ziona-based Kamada Ltd. to Or Yehuda’s Babylon Ltd. have filed to offer shares in the Nasdaq exchange this year as they seek to expand their investors.

Evogene said first-quarter revenue rose to $4.6 million, primarily because of research and licensing income generated under various collaboration agreements with makers of agricultural products such as Leverkusen, Germany-based Bayer AG and St. Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto Company. Monsanto is Evogene’s largest shareholder with an 8.7 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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