French, Dutch & Australian regulators clear Unibail-Westfield deal

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Unibail-Westfield

The £18.5 billion takeover of Westfield by French property giant Unibail-Rodamco is closer to becoming a reality following approval from French, Dutch and Australian financial authorities.

The takeover was given the green light by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board last week, shortly after French and Dutch financial market authorities cleared key documentation backing the massive deal.

The takeover has also been unanimously recommended by Westfield’s board as well as Unibail-Rodamco’s board.

Westfield said it would hold its annual general meeting on May 24, and will use the occasion for shareholders to vote on the takeover.

A separate vote by Unibail-Rodamco shareholders will also take place in May.

If all goes to plan, the takeover deal could become effective from as early as May 30.

Westfield first announced in December that it would be bought by Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco in a £18.5 billion deal.

Once it goes through, it would create a combined global estate worth around £52 billion.

As part of the deal, Westfield Corporation’s Australian owners would receive £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 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 business 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.

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