Launched in the early 1990s, Gazit-Globe has become one of the world’s largest operators of supermarket-anchored shopping centers. Now the company has filed the necessary papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public in the U.S. (Gazit-Globe currently trades on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange). The plan is to issue 12 million shares, with the price range yet to be determined. The underwriters include Citigroup (NYSE:C), Deutsche Bank Securities (NYSE:DB) and Barclays Capital (NYSE:BCS).
Gazit-Globe has a portfolio of more than 660 properties that represent a gross leaseable area of 75 million square feet. The aggregate value of the real estate is roughly $18.5 billion.
A key part of Gazit-Globe’s strategy has been geographic diversification, especially in countries that have relatively stable GDPs and strong credit ratings. These include United States, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Israel, Germany and Brazil.
Another important aspect is Gazit-Globe’s focus on acquiring properties in densely populated areas that have attractive demographic trends. The company also prefers tenants that provide everyday necessities, such as drug stores, liquor stores, hair salons and discount retailers. Gazit-Globe has been skillful in maintaining its tenant relationships, boasting an overall occupancy rate of 94.3%.
Gazit-Globe’s business model has been generating strong financial results. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company posted income of $325 million on revenues of $1.23 billion.
While Gazit-Globe will continue to focus on its retail strategy, the company also sees opportunities in medical office buildings as well as senior housing. No doubt, these will benefit from the aging of the world population, especially in North America.
So for investors looking for a global real estate play — which should do well in any economic environment — Gazit-Globe should be a good fit.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.