Real estate investment trust

Equity One

(NYSE:EQY) is to acquire the Canadian company Centrefund Realty Corporation (TSE:CFE) for $120.6 million in stock.

The deal is intended to strengthen Equity One's position in the shopping-mall market in Florida and Texas. It is expected to be finalized in the third quarter this year.

Equity One is controlled by the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange-traded company Gazit Globe (58%).

Gazit Globe also owns 68% of Centrefund.

Alony Hetz Properties & Investments, another Tel Aviv-traded company, owns 19.3% of Centrefund, 20% of Equity One, and 5.3% of Gazit Globe.

The controlling shareholders in Alony Hetz are Israeli businessmen Nathan Hetz and Moshe Wertheim, and the Israeli company Mivtach Shamir.

The deal sets Centrefund's value at $280 million, including $157 million in debt and the offering of $10.5 million Equity One shares.

Equity One's market cap is $120.6 million based on the closing price of the share of $11.49 on May 18.

The deal is not expected to affect Equity One's results in 2001.

Equity One Chairman and CEo Chaim Katzman said that the deal is based on the company's policy of buying supermarket-based shopping malls in fast-growth markets.

Equity One is an income-earning real-estate company that operates in the United States, mainly in Florida and Texas. It acquires, develops and manages commercial centers with supermarkets.

The company owns 33 such centers spreading over an area of more than 300,000 square meters. In addition, the company manages 28 commercial centers.

Centrefund owns 72 properties in the United States.

With Shlomy Golovinski, TheMarker.com