Israeli businessperson Yehuda Barashi is bidding for the acquisition of a controlling interest in income-producing real estate company GTC at an investment likely to be in the hundreds of millions of euros. GTC is a public Polish company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, with a market cap of 4.3 billion zlotys (NIS 4.1 billion). It was reported a while ago that US fund Lone Star, the controlling shareholder in GTC, was considering the sale of its holdings. GTC was founded and formerly controlled by Israeli holding company Kardan.
As far as is known, Barashi is prominent among several concerns and investors interested in acquiring GTC. The process of selling Lone Star's shares in GTC has already begun, but has not yet been closed, and will continue for at least several more weeks with potential buyers. The final sale details also remain to be settled.
Despite the extensive activity under his ownership, Barashi has hitherto kept out of the public eye and remained aloof from public exposure. He has widespread real estate activity throughout Europe. Through his fully owned LRC Group, he operates primarily in five countries: the UK, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, and Ireland.
According to its website, LRC manages 700 properties with 2.8 million square meters in income-producing space. Its tenants include major companies in various sectors, such as Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, Google, Vodafone, Caterpillar, Xerox, HSBC, Coca Cola, Foot Locker, Kenon Holdings, Sony, etc.
As far as is known, Barashi conducts his activity, which has hitherto been conducted without a public platform, in partnership with various investment concerns and institutions, mainly international, but also Israeli.
GTC was founded by Kardan NV in 1994. Under then chairperson Eli Alroy, the company made pioneering investments in Eastern Europe, mainly in Poland, long before this became a hot trend. These investments generated phenomenal profits for Kardan and created substantial value for it, following its capital rounds, including a successful offering on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and the sale of some of its projects.
Towards the end of 2013, Kardan NV sold its remaining 28% holding in GTC to Lone Star for €160 million. 18 months later, GTC obtained a large amount of capital through a rights issue, in which Lone Star injected another €180 million into it, thereby increasing its stake, which now stands at 62%.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 11, 2019
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