Westfield bought by Unibail Rodamco in £18.5bn deal

(Author : Ben Stevens)
Westfield is set to be bought by Paris-based Unibail Rodamco in a deal that will create a combined global estate of £54 billion.

The shopping centre giant which owns some of the largest retail site in the UK, is to be sold to Unibail Rodamco for £18.5 billion, paying Westfield Corporation’s Australian owners £5.66 a share at a 17.8 per cent premium. Unibail Rodamco is the largest commercial real estate company in Europe and will own 104 properties across the world when the acquisition is complete, reportedly resulting in cost savings of $100 million a year.

“The acquisition of Westfield is a natural extension of Unibail-Rodamco’s strategy of concentration, differentiation and innovation,” Unibail chief executive Christophe Cuvillier said. “It adds a number of new attractive retail markets in London and the wealthiest catchment areas in the United States. It provides a unique platform of superior quality shopping destinations supported by experienced professionals of both Unibail-Rodamco and Westfield.”

Westfield’s Frank Lowy added: “The transaction announced today is the culmination of the strategic journey Westfield has been on since its 2014 restructure.

“We see this transaction as highly compelling for Westfield’s security holders and Unibail-Rodamco’s shareholders alike. Unibail Rodamco’s track record makes it the natural home for the legacy of Westfield’s brand and business.”

The announcement comes just a week after Westfield’s largest UK shopping centre rival Intu announced a £3.4 billion deal with property giant Hammerson, set to create the UK’s largest property company worth £21 billion.

Source : retailgazette.co.uk