E Teva Patent Ruling, Delek To Go It Alone, And Barrick Gold/Newmont Mining Merger On Hold

*US Supreme Court Justice Roberts refused to "stay" a lower court ruling that Teva's Copaxone patent was invalid, prior to a Supreme Court hearing on the issue. That means a generic of the multiple sclerosis drug can be sold starting next month during the legal hiatus. The Supremes will only hear the case in the autumn and may not rule until 2015. I expect there to be some selling of TEVA stock in Tel Aviv Sunday which will ratchet down its price here early next week when Tel Aviv closes for the tail end of Passover. While my lawyer is unreachable over the holiday I think the theory is that TEVA can collect damages for patent infringement during the interim if the SCOUSA rules in its favor. So it doesn't require another layer of patent protection.

*The reason Delek Group is so busy raising cash is it may go it alone in developing the massive Leviathan offshore gas field because of unsettled tax disputes between the potential new partner, Woodside Petroleum of Australia, and the Jerusalem authorities. Woodside was going to spend $2.6 bn (US) to buy a 25% stake in the field but Israel objected to the rapid amortization it planned for its investment. The talks have dragged on for a month and now the deadline in the initial memorandum of understanding between Woodside, Delek, and operator Noble Energy has expired.

*Merger talks between Newmont Mining and Barrick Gold for a merger of equals have broken down, according to Bloomberg. But they may resume to create a gold powerhouse with a market cap of over $33 bn (US). We own bonds from ABX but not the beaten-down common stock. NEM is beaten down even more than ABX.



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