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Developer John Catsimatidis to raise money in Tel Aviv: “All my Jewish friends in New York were doing it”

John Catsimatidis


Greek-American billionaire John Katsimitidis is raising a $100 million bond offering in Tel Aviv for Red Apple, the real estate arm in New York.

“If everyone does that, there’s probably a good reason,” Katsimetidis told The Real Deal.”All my Jewish friends from New York did it, so I said maybe they’re smarter than I. At least now I’ll have something to do on Sundays,” he added, referring to the fact that in Israel Sunday is a day’s work.

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Katsimitidis, whose fortune was estimated by Forbes at $3.1 billion, is expected to bring a small part of Red Apple global portfolio to Israel. It is estimated that this will include six properties of rental apartments in Brooklyn, New York, one of which under construction. Although the number of properties is small, it worth about $ 900 million, and the company has equity of about $500 million, so a large company is expected to reach Israel.

Katsimitidis is currently in the process of obtaining a rating from the Israeli credit rating companies. “Our portfolio is made up of what Israeli investors love,” he told The Real Deal. “We do not need cash at the moment, but borrowing money at a 4 percent interest rate is smart.”

The Real Estate website points out that Katsimitidis have been recruited by Larry Silverstein, one of the well-known billionaires in the US who had held the Twin Towers when they collapsed in the terrorist attacks of September 2001. Silverstein Properties has raised NIS 633 million (about $200 million) in Tel Aviv at a particularly low-interest rate of 3.38%. His developer fellows opened an appetite for the Israeli dish.

Katsimitidis is a well-known figure in New York, partly because of his supermarket chain Gristedes; He also run for mayor of New York in 2013, and failed; He Especially running a famous radio program. He is also the owner of Hellenic Times, a newspaper for the Greek population in the city.

Katsimitidis has yet to publish a public prospectus, and Red Apple will need to be rated and approved by Israeli regulators in order to be listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). As for the moment, Katsimitidis brings to Israel his portfolio of apartments for rent in Brooklyn at a problematic time. The apartment market in Brooklyn has been flooded with new projects in recent years, and rent has begun to be cut off. In addition, the issue may be overshadowed by a single asset at the stage of initiation, and therefore has a higher risk.



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