Potash producer Israel Chemicals files for US listing

Tel Aviv-based maker of fertilizer and specialty chemicals filed with US regulators to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

September 12, 2014 22:54
1 minute read.
New York Stock Exchange

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel Chemicals Ltd, a Tel Aviv-based maker of fertilizer and specialty chemicals, filed with US regulators to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

ICL set a nominal fundraising target of about $522.4 million through an initial public offering of 62 million ordinary shares, it said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Morgan Stanley and Barclays are the lead underwriters for the IPO, the company said.

ICL is a subsidiary of Israel Corp and the second largest company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by market value.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

Last month, the company announced plans to close its magnesium factory in 2017 – which employs 550 people, about 10 percent of the company’s total workforce – and explore plans to downsize its bromide plant, which employs another 1,200.

The company cited the possibility that “interim recommendations of the Sheshinski Committee will be adopted and enacted into legislation” as reasons for both.

The so-called Sheshinski 2 Committee, headed by Prof. Eitan Sheshinski, was instructed by the government last year to examine the state’s royalty policies for the exploitation of natural resources – except for oil and gas, whose royalty policies were determined in a previous Sheshinski Committee.

In May, Sheshinski 2 recommended that companies exploiting the country’s natural resources be charged a tax rate on all excess profits – also known as a surtax – of 42 percent, stressing that such a tax would boost the state’s coffers by NIS 500 million annually.

The committee members also recommended setting a uniform royalty rate on natural resources of 5%, to remain consistent with global conditions and ensure a steady revenue stream.

ICL, which is the Negev’s largest employer and one of the largest companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said the magnesium factory had barely been profitable for a long time (it pulled in $1m. in gross profit from $115m. in sales in 2013) but was economically justifiable because it produced cheap inputs for use in its bromide and potash plants.

Niv Elis contributed to this report.

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