Westfield’s international business is to be acquired by European commercial property company Unibail-Rodamco in a $35.6 billion takeover.
In a joint statement, Westfield and Unibail-Rodamco announced on December 12 that Westfield securityholders would receive a combination of cash and shares in Unibail-Rodamco as part of the takeover deal. Westfield’s shares have been valued at AUS$10.01 each in the deal, representing a premium of 17.8 percent over the company’s listed price on the ASX as at December 11.
The transaction gives Westfield Corporation an implied value of $35.6 billion.
Upcoming plans released with Westfield and Unibail-Rodamco’s announcement include the creation of a global property leader with $103.4 billion of gross market value, strategically positioned in 27 retail markets around the world; and the roll-out of the Westfield brand across Unibail-Rodamco’s flagship shopping destinations.
Westfield Group’s Australian and New Zealand business has been independent from the international business represented by Westfield Corporation since 2013. Westfield shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand are owned, managed and developed by a separately-listed entity called Scentre Group, which was established in 2014 through the merger of Westfield Retail Trust and Westfield Group’s Australian and New Zealand management business.
Commenting on the transaction, Sir Frank Lowy AC, chairman of the Westfield board of directors, said: “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 securityholders 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. We look forward to seeing Westfield continue to grow as part of the world’s premier owner of flagship shopping destinations.”
Subject to approval by Australian courts and both companies’ shareholders, the deal is expected to be closed in the first half of 2018.