Mall Owner Westfield Is Getting a New French Owner

  • Mall Owner Westfield Is Getting a New French Owner

Mall Owner Westfield Is Getting a New French Owner

The move for Westfield gives Unibail access to the London market.

Under the terms of the deal, Unibail-Rodamco said shareholders in Westfield will receive a combination of cash and shares, valuing Westfield at $7.55 a share, which represent an 18 per cent premium to the company's closing share price before the deal was announced.

The deal will not include Australian and New Zealand shopping centres carrying the Westfield brand. Westfield shares had been down 9 percent this year prior to the deal being made public, and the company has spent years lowering its retail exposure.

Post transaction, existing Unibail-Rodamco shareholders will hold about 72% of the Group's stapled securities and Westfield securityholders will hold about 28%.

Frank Lowy was born in what is now Slovakia in 1930.

Westfield said Unibail-Rodamco's offer was simply too good to pass up.

'What a privilege it has been to lead this great Australian company, ' an 87-year-old Mr Lowy said in a video statement.

NCChristophe Cuvillier lauded the benefits of the Westfield acquisition

"The acquisition of Westfield is a natural extension of Unibail-Rodamco's strategy of concentration, differentiation and innovation".

It follows last week's proposed tie-up of Hammerson, owner of Birmingham's Bullring, with Lakeside and Trafford Centre operator Intu, as the surge in online buying forces shopping centre groups to focus on their best assets. As part of the deal, the Lowy family has agreed not to sell its stake in the company until the transaction is complete.

Before the transaction is finalised, Westfield Corporation will spin off its retail technology platform, OneMarket, and list it on the ASX as its own entity.

After the takeover of the Australian company, Westfi eld's 35 shopping centres in the United Kingdom and America, including London's White City and Stratford malls, will combine with Unibail's 69 sites to form a £54billion retail giant attracting 1.2 billion visits annually.

Sir Frank Lowy, chairman of Westfield's board of directors, said that Unibail-Rodamco's track record "makes it the natural home for the legacy of Westfield's brand and business".

"All of us at Unibail-Rodamco have enormous respect for what the Lowy family and the Westfield team have accomplished", he said. Unibail, based in Paris, operates malls in Western and Central Europe.