French property group, Unibail-Rodamco, announced Tuesday it will buy Australian owned Westfield Corporation, for $7.55 per share, valuing the shopping centre operator at $24.7 billion. The price represents a 17.8% premium on Westfield’s Dec. 11th closing price.
At 1205 BST, Unibail-Rodamco shares were down 2.37% at €218.80. Westfield Corp shares, which trade on the Australian stock exchange, closed at AUD8.50.
Deal to result bigger shopping centre roll out
Details of the acquisition of the Australian group by the French firm, are available on both businesses websites. The statement is, unsurprisingly positive and outlines the deal will result in:
- The creation of a global property leader, strategically positioned across 27 retail markets.
- A progressive roll-out of the Westfield branded shopping centres.
- A ‘best-in-class’ management team comprising experience from both businesses.
Once the transaction completes, current Unibail-Rodamco’s CEO, Christophe Cuvillier will be the new Group CEO. Colin Dyer, will retain his existing role as Group Chairman of the Supervisory Board, but of the new, enlarged firm.
The Lowy family, the current major shareholders in Westfield Corporation, plans to “maintain a substantial investment in the group,” the statement said.
Positive growth strategy
Unibail-Rodamco’s CEO said the deal is a good fit for the company’s strategic future planning.
“The acquisition of Westfield is a natural extension of Unibail-Rodamco’s strategy of concentration, differentiation and innovation. It adds a number of new attractive retail markets in London and the wealthiest catchment areas in the United States,” Cuvillier said.
“It provides a unique platform of superior quality shopping destinations supported by experienced professionals of both Unibail-Rodamco and Westfield. We believe that this transaction represents a compelling opportunity for both companies,” he added.
“The transaction announced today is the culmination of the strategic journey Westfield has been on since its 2014 restructure,” said Sir Frank Lowy AC, Chairman of the Westfield Board of Directors.
“We look forward to seeing Westfield continue to grow as part of the world’s premier owner of flagship shopping destinations,” Lowy added.