After acquiring Camden Market in London and turning it into a magnet for tourists and locals, billionaire Teddy Sagi is making the Shuk Tzafon market in the Ramat Hahayal neighborhood of Tel Aviv his next target. Sources inform "Globes" that Sagi, a businessperson with highly successful Internet and real estate businesses, is negotiating to acquire the market from gastronomist and food journalist Michal Ansky and architect Roy Hemed, its developers and owners. The price is believed to be in the tens of millions of shekels. The parties are still negotiating with no guarantee that the deal will go through. It is also believed that Ansky and Hemed will in any case continue to serve as professional advisors for the marketing for a period to be determined by the parties.
NIS 25 million was invested in Shuk Tzafon, which opened in January 2016. It covers 1,600 square meters and contains 30 stores, stands, and restaurants with 500 seats. As far as is known, the land on which the market is located has been leased for 10 years; the deal between Sagi, Ansky, and Hemed involves only the market activity.
Ansky and Hemed are also the builders and developers of the Tel Aviv Port market and farmers markets in various places in Israel, including Givatayim, Shoham, and Reut. The farmers markets owned by Ansky are not part of the current deal.
The deal is a small one for Sagi, who is very familiar with deals involving markets. Four years ago, he acquired Camden Market in London for £400 million (over $500 million) and later acquired areas adjacent to the market, which he in effect took over.
Camden Market, the most popular shopping market in London, is a tourist attraction second only to Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, with 40 million visitors a year. Sagi owns Camden Market through a company named Lab Tech, through which he also holds the Holborn Links site in central London acquired six months ago for £300 million ($366 million at that time).
The culinary market industry in Israel is a difficult and challenging one. The market in Jaffa Port closed down, while the Allenby-Rothschild market in Tel Aviv became insolvent; its owner, Kobi Tribitch recently went bankrupt with debts of NIS 19 million. The Shuk Tzafon market has also faced difficult challenges since it opened. Quite a few business owners have sought to leave it because of lack of visitors and low proceeds in comparison with the high rents they were asked to pay.
Michal Ansky declined to respond to the report. No response was available from Teddy Sagi.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 14, 2018
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