Given Seen Luring Fujinon to Olympus: Israel OvernightMatthew Kanterman
Given Imaging Ltd., the Israeli maker of swallowable cameras, could attract buyers from Fujinon Corp. to Olympus Corp. after an investor urged the company to sell itself, Cantor Fitzgerald LP and Maxim Group LLC said.
Shares of the Yokneam, Israel-based company fell 0.2 percent to $19.82 yesterday after reaching a two-year high on Oct. 1. The Bloomberg Israel-US Index of the most actively traded Israeli companies in the U.S. gained for a third day. The Tel Aviv shares slipped 0.6 percent to 69.74, or $19.68, at 10:09 a.m. local time. Allot Communications Ltd. rose the most since June after the company said it received a new order for its products.
Discovery Group, which owns about 4 percent of Given’s shares, said yesterday it wants the company to resume exploring a sale process after ending a search for a possible merger in January. The Israeli developer of capsule-sized cameras is expecting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to rule later this year on the PillCam Colon for the examination of patients unwilling or unable to undergo colonoscopy.
“Potential buyers will come to Given once they receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the PillCam Colon 2,” Bryan Brokmeier, analyst at Maxim, said by phone from New York yesterday. “Buyers such as Olympus, Fujinon, or Boston Scientific Corp. could be interested in acquiring the company once the FDA approval comes through.”
Given hired advisers from Barclays Plc to consider a possible sale or merger last year. The company failed to execute its business strategy, causing management to lose credibility and hurting the stock price, Discovery Group said.
“One name that was mentioned as a rumored suitor last year was Fujinon,” Jeremy Feffer, analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said by phone from Chicago yesterday. “Fujinon is in the business already and has the global sales force to fully maximize the value of Given’s products.”
“The Board of Directors will review the letter and respond in due course,” David Carey, an investor relations representative with Lazar Partners Ltd., said in an e-mail statement yesterday on behalf of Given.
Peter Luke, a spokesman for Boston Scientific, said by phone from Boston that the company does not comment on speculation. A representatives at Fujifilm Holdings Corp., the parent company of Fujinon, did not immediately respond to e-mailed requests for comment. Mika Katsumata, a press official at Olympus, said the company isn’t considering the “matter at this moment.” Brokmeier and Feffer said they didn’t have any direct knowledge of discussions.
Given Imaging suffered a setback last year when it said it wouldn’t submit its PillCam Colon 2 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for general screening use, and instead opted to limit its product to patients who are unable to undergo or complete colonoscopies.
The company said on Sept. 23 that the latest version of the PillCam SB, aimed at detecting and monitoring Crohn’s disease and other conditions of the small bowel, was approved by Japanese medical authorities.
Given, which posted the slowest revenue growth on record in 2012, will probably see sales rise 8.6 percent to $196 million in 2013, according to the mean estimate of three analysts compiled by Bloomberg.
Allot, the Israeli maker of technology used to track wireless traffic, surged 12 percent to $14.09. The company said it received a “multimillion dollar” contract from a “major U.S.-based cloud provider,” according to a statement yesterday. Volumes on Allot were more than three times the average during the past 90 days.
The Hod Hasharon-based company will report revenue of $25.8 million in the third quarter, a decline of 7.2 percent from a year ago, according to the mean of 10 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Allot closed at a gap of 10 cents above the Tel Aviv-listed shares, the first premium since Sept. 23. Those shares were little changed this morning.
The Bloomberg Israel-US gauge added 0.1 percent to $101.04, the highest since July 2011. Nice Systems, the Israeli maker of analytical telecommunications products, fell 1.5 percent to $40.99. Shares in Tel Aviv this morning slipped 0.6 percent to 145.10 shekels, or $40.96.
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