Friday, 28 February 2020

European shopping centre giant snaps up Westfield

Westfield 1

Shopping centre giant Westfield is to be sold to a European rival, just days after two other major industry players struck a takeover deal.

Unibail-Rodamco, a French property investor which owns Paris’s iconic underground shopping mall Carrousel du Louvre, has entered into an agreement to buy Westfield for $24.7bn (£18.5bn).

It comes after Hammerson offered £3.4bn for Intu, marking two major shopping property mergers in as many weeks.

Terms of Unibail’s offer mean shareholders in Westfield will receive a mix of cash and Unibail shares. The company will be listed on Eurnoext Amsterdam and Paris, with a secondary listing in Australia.

SHOPING

The combined company will have 104 shopping centres around the world. Westfield’s two (soon to be three) London sites were mentioned as particularly attractive for the new owners.

Unibail’s chair and CEO Christophe Culliver said: “The acquisition of Westfield is a natural extension of Unibail-Rodamco’s strategy of concentration, differentiation and innovation. It adds a number of new attractive retail markets in London and the wealthiest catchment areas in the United States.”

Westfield chairman Sir Frank Lowy commented that the deal was “highly compelling” for all shareholders involved. “Unibail-Rodamco’s track record makes it the natural home for the legacy of Westfield’s brand and business,” he said.

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