May 12, 2010

David Joshua Azrieli is a Canadian builder, architect, developer and philanthropist. He was born in Makow, Poland in 1922 and fled to Palestine (Israel) during World War II where he studied architecture. He then immigrated to Montreal in 1954 where he started his building business. He opened his first mall in Israel, the Ayalon, in 1985.

His company Azrieli Group Ltd., Israel’s largest developer of shopping centers, is now planning to raise $727 million in an initial public offering. Azrieli will be offering the public 25% of his company. Its the biggest public offering Israel has seen in years.

The Azrieli Group owns 11 malls around Israel, 4.8% of Bank Leumi (one of the country’s largest banks), and invests in energy, retail and construction. The Group also has holdings in 11 technology startups and investment funds.

It’s 11 malls and shopping centers in Israel cover more than 5 million square feet.

After the public offering, David Azrieli and his son Rafi intend to donate all or part of their 55% stake in Azrieli Group to charitable foundations.

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