Canadian bank Scotiabank has become a party at interest in Strauss Group Ltd. (TASE:STRS). Its holding in the company has a current market value of nearly NIS 600 million, according to a report published today by the food and beverages company, controlled by the Strauss family.
The report shows that Scotiabank, one of the largest banks in Canada, holds a 5% stake in Strauss Group through 1832 Asset Management, its investment arm, which as far as is known manages over $100 billion in assets.
As far as is known, 1832 Asset Management had a long-standing 3% holding in Strauss's shares, which it enlarged in recent months with a series of purchases that have now made it a party at interest in the company.
Strauss's share price has now reached a peak, pushing its market cap up to almost NIS 12 billion, following a 10% rise in the past month and a 40% climb over the past year.
The Strauss family sold parts of its holdings in Strauss Group in 2018 for a total of NIS 240 million. The sale of its shares was in two packets at prices of around NIS 80 per share, 20% lower than the current share price of around NIS 100.
Strauss Group reported good results for the first quarter of 2019. Despite a 3% drop to NIS 2.1 billion in its revenue, due mainly to currency rates and lower coffee prices in Brazil, the company improved its gross and operating profits and profit margins.
In its bottom line, Strauss Group benefited from a decrease in its tax expenses. Despite higher financing expenses, the company's net profit jumped 17% to NIS 172 million in the first quarter.
Last week, Leumi Capital Markets published a revision of its recommendation for the Strauss Group share, saying, "The trend is positive, but the share is fully priced," and retained its "Market weight" recommendation, with a target price of NIS 92, 10% lower than the current market price.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 20, 2019
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