// Westfield parent company denies reports of mulling raising new equity
// Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield was reported to be aiming to raise £2.67 billion in new equity
Westfield has reportedly responded after reports emerged that the property giant is mulling raising new equity as the retail sector rides out Covid-19.
Reports last week suggested that shopping centre owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) was aiming to raise $3.5 billion (£2.67 billion) in new equity, according to Bloomberg.
However, Westfield said it has not decided on its strategy for deleveraging and is still weighing out the benefits of “all potential strategies”.
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The company, which operates two Westfield shopping centers in the UK, said deleveraging remains a priority with its planned disposal of £3.5 billion in assets in the next couple of years.
The two UK shopping centres – Westfield Statford and Westfield London in White City – recorded a 27.5 per cent drop last month in net revenue income during the half-year period.
“No decision has been made yet on any of the available additional deleveraging options,” Westfield said in a statement.
URW said it has taken a number of steps in response to the pandemic, such as the cancellation of the second dividend instalment, deferring non-essential capital expenditures, a further reduction of the development pipeline and the disposal of five French shopping centres, Drapers reported.
As of June 30, URW had £11.5 billion of cash and undrawn credit facilities at its disposal.
It said that deleveraging is a priority for URW, starting with asset disposals as evidenced by its intention to sell £3.62 billion of assets in the next couple of years, on top of the £4.3 billion of disposals the group completed since June 30, 2018.