Westfield bought by Unibail-Rodamco in £18.5bn deal

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Westfield is set to be bought by Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco in a deal that will create a combined global estate worth £54 billion.

The shopping centre giant, which owns some of the largest retail sites 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.

Westfield Corporation owns the eponymous brand of shopping centres across Europe and the US, including two in London.

The Westfield shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand have been run separately by the Scentre Group since 2014, when shopping centre giant separated its American and European businesses from its operations down under.

Unibail-Rodamco is the largest commercial real estate company in Europe and will own 104 properties across the world when the acquisition of Westfield Corporation 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 US.

“It provides a unique platform of superior quality shopping destinations supported by experienced professionals of both Unibail-Rodamco and Westfield.”

Westfield’s founder 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 biggest UK shopping centre rival Intu announced a £3.4 billion deal with property giant Hammerson, set to create one of the UK’s largest property companies with a value of £21 billion.

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