// Westfield owner Unibail sells 5 French shopping centres
// The centres are Aéroville and So Ouest in the Paris region, Rennes Alma in Rennes, Toison d’Or in Dijon, and Confluence in Lyon
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) has sold five French Westfield shopping centres valued at more than €2 billion (£1.8 billion) to a joint venture between URW, Crédit Agricole Assurances and La Française.
The centres consist of Aéroville and So Ouest in the Paris region, Rennes Alma in Rennes, Toison d’Or in Dijon, and Confluence in Lyon.
Crédit Agricole Assurances and La Française hold a 54.2 per cent stake in the joint venture, while URW holds 45.8 per cent.
The joint venture secured €1 billion (£880 million) financing for the deal.
As part of the deal, a rental guarantee of up to €45 million (£39.7 million) has been granted to the joint venture to cover a possible shortfall in net rental income up to December 31 2024.
“The closing of this transaction is a major milestone in the group’s disposal strategy,” URW group chief executive Christophe Cuvillier said.
“In a very challenging environment, it demonstrates the quality of our assets and illustrates the trust of our partners in the management of URW to cope with the current situation and to generate future growth in the assets we operate.”
Meanwhile, in the UK, Westfield said it is preparing to reopen malls as it awaits for lockdown measures to ease.
The centres said they have established social distancing measures and increased other safety precautions as non-essential retailers prepare to open their doors since being shut in March.
URW unveiled a raft a measures it would introduce at its Stratford and London shopping centres, including one-way systems, live footfall cameras, floor stickers to mark two-metre gaps and increased cleaning.