Kushner Companies plans $100M Israeli bond raise

Move expected to attract criticism due to Jared Kushner’s role in foreign policy

Kushner Companies has filed papers to raise $100 million through a bond issuance on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. (Getty, iStock)
Kushner Companies has filed papers to raise $100 million through a bond issuance on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. (Getty, iStock)

 

As a senior advisor in the Trump White House, Jared Kushner played a lead role in implementing the outgoing administration’s Middle East policy. And now, Kushner’s family firm is heading to the region to raise money.

Kushner Companies has filed papers to raise $100 million through a bond issuance on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Kushner is considering the option of issuing bonds on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange,” a Kushner spokesperson said in statement. “The company has had years of success working with Israeli institutions as both a borrower and a partner.”

With its favorable interest rates and the ability to issue unsecured corporate bonds, Israeli bond markets have long been a popular source of financing for New York developers large and small, from the likes of Related Companies and Extell Development to All Year Management and Spencer Equity.

Kushner Companies’ issuance would likely occur in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Journal, and would mark the developer’s first bond issuance in Israel. As a bond issuer, the company will be required to make periodic disclosures to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and be subject to the scrutiny of Israeli securities authorities and rating agencies.

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Though Kushner’s spokesperson declined to say what the funds would be used for, the company’s move comes at a time when real estate investors have been building up liquidity in anticipation of distressed asset investment opportunities. This month, the company put a 10-property Baltimore multifamily portfolio on the market which it believes could sell for $800 million.

Kushner Companies has previously received other forms of investment from Israeli financial institutions, such as Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, Psagot Investment House and Harel Group.

The company’s business ties to the Middle East have raised concerns about conflicts of interest in the past. This month, Democrats in Congress launched an investigation into whether bailout financing for Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue was connected to the lifting of a Saudi blockade of Qatar.

One of the major achievements of the Trump administration’s Middle East policy has been the normalization of Israel’s diplomatic relations with Arab countries including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

 

[WSJ] — Kevin Sun