(as noted by the "Global Jewish Agenda" -- a newsletter of the Jewish Agency)
"ISRAELI INVESTMENTS IN BRITAIN EXPANDING Large Israeli investments in Great Britain are expanding. Businessman Benny Steinmetz has acquired some 8%of the large British real estate company Chelsfield at an investment of more than $85 million, while the Israeli real estate company Arazim, has acquired dozens of acres of land for $72 million. Chelsfield's market value - the company specializes in real estate acquisitions in urban areas in Great Britain - is $1.13 billion. Previous acquisitions by Steinmetz include the gigantic London project Canary Wharf and, together with other investors, the British real estate company Eremelsah. The land acquired by Arazim is in Cardiff in northern England. Building covering some 8000 square meters are located on the land, which will be primed for Britain's largest telephone company, British Telecom."
"REPORT FROM BRITAIN: ISRAEL'S DELEK GROUP NEGOTIATING TO ACQUIRE BRITISH REAL ESTATE COMPANY WORTH $715M Israel's Delek Group is in the midst of negotiations to acquire the British real estate company Great Portland Estates, which trades on the London Stock Exchange at a market capitalization of $715 million, the British press reported. Delek Group's subsidiary, Delek-Belron International, invests in properties in the UK and Canada. The company owns 13 properties in UK, as well as four properties in Canada. It was also reported that Liberty International, a gigantic British property company trading on the LSE at $2.9 billion, is a contender for Great Portland as well."
"ISRAELI INVESTORS ACQUIRE HALF AN ISLAND IN CROATIA FOR NIS 500 MILLION A group of foreign and Israeli investors has acquired half an Island in Croatia NIS 500 million. The 250 dunam area, is designed for the erection of a hospital, a rehabilitation center, and a marina. The Israeli investors include attorney Amos Maimon, formerly director general of President Moshe Katsav's office."
ISRAELI REAL ESTATE COMPANIES EXPAND BUSINESS ABROAD; PROJECT TO SET UP $90M COMMERCIAL CENTER IN BUDAPEST Israeli real estate companies are expanding their business dealings in Europe and the US. BSR Europe and Electra Real Estate are beginning to build a large commercial and office project covering more than 100 square meters in the center of Budapest, capital of Hungary. The cost of the project is estimated at more than $90 million. Over the past two weeks, Malibu has sold 240 units in the 18-Young project in Toronto. Sales totaled some $35 million. Liberty, which initiates and rents commercial and office buildings, has finalized a deal to acquire an office project in Prague for 22 million euro. 93% of the area is rented long-term to commercial bodies. Liberty had previously acquired a smaller office project in Prague for 3.3 million euro.
Buy of the year: equity one buys American real estate company IRT for $426 million The Israeli real estate company Equity One has signed a deal to buy out the American real estate company IRT Property for $426 million. The Atlanta-based company, which owns some 100 commercial centers, operates in the southeastern US. This is the largest acquisition by an Israeli company so far this year. The deal makes Equity One the tenth largest real estate investment trust in the US and the largest in Florida. Equity One shareholders are its parent company, Gazit Globe, Alony Hetz, and First Capital Realty. As a result of the deal, as well as the acquisition of the Canadian chain Center Fund two years ago, Gazit Globe, one of the largest real estate companies in Israel, will now own 245 commercial centers in the US and Canada.
Israeli real estate software company acquires US rival The Israeli company WorkplaceIQ, which develops and markets software solutions for real estate management, has acquired its US rival BayLogics in a stock and cash deal. The American company has a broad customer base numbering over 300 customers including various retail chains such as Cisco Systems and Home Depot. The program developed by the Israeli company is designed primarily for large companies that handle thousands of assets, such as cellular companies that place antennas throughout the state and need to manage the rental contracts of each site. According to Workplace IQ, the merger of the two companies will create a large company, with the largest market segment in real estate asset management in Israel.
ISRAELI COMPANIES COMPLETE PURCHASE OF APARTMENT HOUSES IN US FOR $182 M Israel companies Rosebud and Africa Israel Investments have completed the joint acquisition of apartment houses in the United States for rental in a $182 million deal. The Israeli companies, in collaboration with American investors, acquired thousands of housing units for rental in 13 neighborhoods in Dallas and San Antonio. They are located in residential neighborhoods near offices and factories.
Israeli company concludes $24 million real estate deal in Montreal The Israeli company Israelom has concluded a $24 million deal to acquire leasing rights in an office project in Montreal. The contract will remain in effect until 2034. Israelom deals in purchasing real estate, renting buildings, and construction for residential and commercial purposes. The company disclosed that its newly acquired property in Montreal yields an annual income of $2.5 million.
Israelis building a £15 million hotel in London Two Israeli businessmen, Meir Aboutbul and Shmuel Zisser, are building a business hotel with an investment of £15 million. Furnishings will be imported from Israel and the hotel will open in another year. Aboutbul, who owns restaurants in Israel and abroad, opened the Sea Hotel on the Tel Aviv beach about two months ago.
Large real estate deal in Lisbon The Israeli company Mivnei Taasiah is in the process of acquiring a large property in Lisbon, Portugal, to build a project that will include commercial buildings, offices and an apartment hotel. The deal totals 16 million euro. Mivnei Taasiah, which is acquiring the property through a foreign company, is a subsidiary of the Jerusalem Economic Corporation.
Another investment in Canada The Israeli "rush" on Canadian real estate is continuing. Liberty Properties has recently acquired a Canadian company that owned a rental housing project in the center of Montreal for NIS 16 million. Several months ago Liberty acquired a large office project in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, for NIS 68 million. The entire project is let to commercial companies on long-term leases for NIS 7 million annually.
Large acquisitions in New York Africa-Israel, the large Israeli construction company has acquired, together with a local businessman, two sites in New York zoned for construction, for $30 million. Africa-Israel will build hundreds of apartments and a commercial center with sales expected to total $150 million. Some of the apartments are intended for rent. This is Africa-Israel's first construction initiative in the US, and the first time that this company is entering the construction-for-rental market. The company is also active in Europe, where it is currently building a multi-story shopping center in Prague and an apartment and commercial center in Moscow.
One of the world's largest real estate agencies, the American franchise Realty Executive is beginning to operate in Israel. The American company will initially open five branches in Israel - two in Tel Aviv, two in Rishon Lezion, and one in Jerusalem - but it hopes to eventually open 150 branches, becoming Israel's largest real estate chain. Realty Executive will handle both residential and commercial properties and will sell properties abroad to Israelis.
The international Delek company (controlled by Yitzchak Teshuva), and the Tom Maintenance company (controlled by Zvi Biran) have together acquired 60% of the British company that owns office projects for rent in the City of London in an area of close to 20,000 square meters. The entire project is rented to the American company Merrill Lynch until September 2015.
A similar acquisition in Great Britain. The real estate company headed by Moshe and Yigal Gindi acquired an office project in the center of London near Covenant Gardens for $30 million. This is the largest foreign ever deal made by this company, which decided to convert half of the space into residential property, and to build dozens of prestigious apartments for sale.
The Israel real estate company Equity 1 this week acquired the Village at Blanco shopping center, covering 10,000 square meters, in San Antonio, Texas for $19 million. Equity 1 has 88 centers in Texas and Florida.
Israeli shopping center entrepreneur Reuven Gross is expanding his activities to locations abroad. Gross has recently acquired shopping centers in Paris, France and in Liege, Belgium at an investment of NIS 92 million.
Three groups of Israeli investors have recently acquired apartment buildings for rent in the Harlem section of New York and in Miami, FLA for $5 million. The New York deal was arranged by the Real Basic Company, and the Miami deal by the International Global Real Estate Company of the ICG group. In another deal in Florida, the Israeli Company Activity One acquired a commercial center near West Palm Beach for $2.6 million. The Winn Dixie supermarket chain and the First Union Bank operate in this center.
Electra Realties company, a subsidiary of Electra, has acquired a rental housing project in England for some NIS 100 million ($20 million). The project is located in the coastal city of Brighton in southern England on an area of some 8,000 square meters. A foreign financial institution put up most of the money for the deal, at an interest rate of 6.1% for seven and a half years.
Angel Industries acquired a shopping center in Canada for some $19.6 million. The 32,000 square meter shopping center is situated 30 km outside of Montreal. The company, which is controlled by businessman Yaakov Angel, anticipates an estimated annual rental income of $2.29 million. The company's capital is estimated at approximately $31.25 million.
A group of Israeli investors acquired leasing rights in an office project in London that stood empty for the past five years. The investment, including the cost of building renovation, totaled $2.2 million. The building will be turned into an apartment house, and the apartments will be sold and rented to people working in the area and to students at the nearby university.
Israelis are increasing their purchases of apartments overseas. Between January and March, Israeli purchases included 25 apartments in Costa Brava, in Spain, worth $1.75 million, 16 apartments in Brussels worth $800 thousand and 17 apartments in Budapest worth 2 million dollars. Real estate companies that brokered the sales stated that purchasers are motivated by investment opportunities as well as "security in times of emergency." Additional investments in Europe: M & M Cohen Co. recently purchased a commercial center in Paris for $3.5 million together with European partners. Reved Co. will construct jointly with another investor a 4,000 square meter office complex in England. The plot was purchased for $1.5 million.
Additional investments in Europe: M & M Cohen Co. recently purchased a commercial center in Paris for $3.5 million together with European partners. Reved Co. will construct jointly with another investor a 4,000 square meter office complex in England. The plot was purchased for $1.5 million.
Israeli business interests in Canada are expanding: The Scalar Co., a subsidiary of the Israeli Dorban Group and the Jerusalem Economic Development Authority, acquired 90% of the rights to a commercial center in Toronto for CA$ 3,400,00 this week. The project includes a constructed area of 33,000 square meters. The purchase was made only 5 days after the Jerusalem Economic Development Authority acquired an office project in Paris, in the 13th Arrondissement, for more than $US 4.5 million.
Yet another Israeli business deal in Canada: Isralom Properties Ltd. has acquired leasing rights in an office project in Montreal for $24 million in partnership with a Canadian company holding 25% of the rights. The Israeli company, Edgar Investments, acquired an office project in Ottawa for approximately CA$1.5 million this week.
The largest-ever acquisition made by an Israeli company is underway: "Capital" acquired the Dutch-British real estate company "Halsmere" for $1.27 billion. The purchase proposal made by "Capital", which is traded on the Stock Exchange at a market value of $25 million, received the approval this week of the acquired company, which has shareholders capital of $1.6 billion. "Capital", whose junior partner is the American company "Apollo" (30%), is involved in real estate investments, hi-tech, and providing services in the capital markets. The company's major shareholders are Shimon Weintraub and Ronen Peled.
Israeli business magnate Lev Levayev, who has controlling interest in Africa-Israel Investments, is conducting negotiations to acquire the Dutch real estate company Uni-Invest, worth $650 million. The assets of the Dutch company - that invests in income-yielding real estate, total $1.5 billion, yielding the company an annual income of close to $200 million. The company's value exceeds that of the entire Africa-Israel, which is worth $395 million.
The Israeli company Electra is expanding its investments in income-yielding real estate ventures overseas and is currently closing a new deal: the purchase of 90% of a residential project in the center of Montreal, Canada for NIS 137 million (Can. $ 47M). The transaction was signed with a group of three companies that have acquired several buildings in the city, leased to tenants for different periods. One of the buildings is leased to the Canadian government for 10 years. Annual rents amount to Can. $8.2 M (NIS 24 million). Net rental income after expenses comes to Can $4.95 M - a net yield of 10.5%.
The Israeli realty company Mivnei Ta'asiyah intends to invest $50 million in productive realty overseas. This week the company held a presentation for institutional investors, in preparation for a debentures issue next week. Mivnei Ta'asiyah intends to raise at least NIS 580 million through the issue, and to substantially reduce the scope of its new investments in real estate in Israel. A certain amount of the issue will be Euro-linked. The company's real estate investments will focus on Western Europe, and for this reason the issue will be partially in Euro-linked debentures. The controlling shareholder of Mivnei Ta'asiyah is Eliezer Fishman.
Israeli company Liberty Properties, recently acquired an office complex in Prague for NIS 79 million. The project is leased to commercial enterprises and projected annual revenues from rentals are estimated at NIS 7 million. The company handles and manages productive assets, initiates and develops realty rights, and sells and leases commercial centers.
The company owned by tycoon, Yaakov Engel continues to make purchases abroad. After investing hundreds of millions of dollars in construction projects in Europe, the company recently acquired an office block in Montreal, Canada, for Can$ 13.4 million. The center is located on St. Catherine Street, the city's main thoroughfare, and it includes the Bank of Montreal.