Melisron considers buying Africa-Israel's AFI Europe

Liora Ofer

Israeli shopping mall giant Melisron is looking to expand overseas.

Israeli shopping mall giant Melisron Ltd. (TASE: MLSR) is interested in buying Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. (TASE:AFIL) unit AFI Europe, sources inform "Globes." Melisron is controlled by Liora Ofer and financially troubled Africa-Israel is controlled by Lev Leviev. If the deal goes ahead it could be carried out by payment in shares of Africa-Israel unit Africa-Israel Properties due to the cash needs of Africa-Israel.

Africa-Israel Properties Ltd. (TASE: AFPR) is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange with a market cxap of NIS 1.45 billion. As far as is known, Melisron is prepared to pay up to NIS 1.8 billion for AFI Europe while Africa-Israel is asking at least NIS 2 billion.

"Globes" recently revealed that senior executives from Melisron visited Romania as part of its checking out the possibility of buying AFI Europe. Melisron CEO Avi Levy has found that the potential for expansion in the Israeli market is limited due to the relative saturation of the shopping mall sector. Therefore the option of expanding into Europe is attractive to Melisron, which has a market cap of NIS 6 billion.

Africa-Israel for its part needs to realize some of its main assets in order to meet its huge commitments to bondholders and avoid an additional debt settlement.

Both Melisron and Africa-Israel declined to comment on the report.

AFI Europe develops, builds and leases shopping malls and offices in Romania, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Germany and other European countries.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 21, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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