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Israeli retail firm Gazit-Globe launches US subsidiary

Gazit-Globe, the global retail real estate giant, has formed a subsidiary to focus on the US.

The Israeli-based company has named former Federal Realty Investment Trust managing director Jeffrey Mooallem president and CEO of the new Gazit Horizons operation.

The new company, with offices in Miami and New York City, will seek to acquire assets in targeted markets throughout the country, with a focus on major metro markets and the growing urban cores of certain “gateway” cities.

Gazit-Globe already has a presence in New York City through its subsidiary, Equity One Inc., a shopping-center real-estate investment trust that owns the Chelsea retail condo that now houses Barneys New York.

Earlier this year, Equity One merged with Regency Centers Corp., forming a company with 429 properties.

Mooallem, a 19-year veteran of the real estate industry, previously held executive positions at Equity One and privately held Turnberry Associates in Miami, FL.

“We are very excited to be announcing the formation of Gazit Horizons, and equally as excited that Jeff has agreed to come on board to lead the team,” said Dori J. Segal, CEO of Gazit Globe, Ltd.

“With the recent merger of our former U.S. subsidiary, Equity One, Gazit Globe’s business in the United States is now leveraged to a low level that makes additional U.S. investment compelling and accretive for our shareholders, while at the same time allowing us to use other sources of capital and cash flow to continue to pay down debt in Israel.

“Drawing from the experience Gazit has had with investments in other markets globally, this new company will implement an investment strategy that is more typical of a private equity investor, but with a much longer time horizon using predominantly its own capital.  Adding the U.S. platform under Jeff’s leadership marks another important step forward in advancing Gazit’s strategic objectives in the U.S. and our focus on direct real estate investments.”

“The chance to work again with a company of Gazit’s stature and build a new investment platform in the United States is a special and unique opportunity,” said Mooallem.

“With our collective experience and relationships in the industry, we are well positioned to acquire assets in some of the strongest and fastest growing markets in the country. We will utilize our experience and capital structure to acquire larger and more complicated assets across multiple product types, and create additional value through asset management, redevelopment and repurposing.”

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