Gazit Horizons president and CEO Jeff Mooallem
NEW YORK CITY—Earlier this month Israeli real estate company Gazit-Globe Ltd. announced the formation of a new US investment subsidiary. In an exclusive interview with its newly appointed president and CEO Jeffrey Mooallem, Globest.com has learned that Gazit Horizons Inc. plans to make between $1 billion to $2 billion in investments in US real estate in the next few years.
In the interview, Mooallem delves into the fledgling company’s investment goals going forward and what property types it is targeting and where. When announcing the formation of the U.S. subsidiary, Tel-Aviv-headquartered Gazit-Globe says that the subsidiary will use primarily its own capital and will invest in income-producing real estate nationwide.
Globest.com: What type of real estate will Gazit Horizons focus on since the parent company mainly concentrates on shopping center investments?
Mooallem: Our collective experience is over 50 years in retail, so certainly retail will be a dominant product type for us, but it won’t be the only product type. We primarily like to find urban locations—meaning the five boroughs of New York (City), South Florida, the two California markets of Los Angeles and San Francisco and we would like to find mixed-use assets that have retail components. That would be the ideal.
Globest.com: Are you looking for strictly existing properties or are you looking for properties with development rights?
Mooallem: We are unlikely to do any ground-up development, starting with vacant land. We are interested in income-producing assets, but we are absolutely willing to find things that have redevelopment or expansion or renovation potential.
Globest.com: This venture is going to be pretty much financed by your parent company?
Mooallem: The parent company (Gazit-Globe Ltd.) has significant liquidity as a result of the recent merger of one of its subsidiary companies. Editor’s Note: In March of this year Equity One and Regency Centers Corp. merged. The combined company at the time of the deal was expected to have a pro forma equity market capitalization of approximately $11.7 billion and a total market capitalization of $15.6 billion, making it the largest REIT by equity value in the shopping center index.
Globest.com: How much is Gazit Horizons looking to invest in 2017 and 2018?
Mooallem: I don’t think I can put a one-year or two-year time horizon on it. Over the initial few years we would like to invest between $1 billion and $2 billion.
Globest.com: Do you have any transactions in negotiation or that have closed to date?
Mooallem: Nothing has closed, again the venture started last week. I would say that we are pleasantly surprised by the amount of attractive deal flow and we are looking to doing some more. However, nothing is ready to talk about yet.
Globest.com: When do you think you will announce your first deals?
Mooallem: I am hoping we acquire something in 2017, maybe several things. But it is just too early to tell.
Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two-part series.