Westfield bought by Unibail Rodamco in £18.5bn deal

Westfield bought by Unibail Rodamco in £18.5bn deal

Unibail-Rodamco owns and operates 69 shopping centers in some of Europe's key cities, including Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Munich, Germany.

As sales fall so do retail property prices, to the point where they become attractive as a discount to asset value.

Under the terms of the deal, Westfield shareholders would receive cash and shares totaling $7.55, or A$10.01, an 18 percent premium per share.

Unibail Rodamco is the largest commercial real estate company in Europe and will own 104 properties across the world when the acquisition is complete, reportedly resulting in cost savings of $100 million a year. The mall, anchored by Macy's, Sears, and JC Penney, has more than 200 stores.

Under its Australian billionaire chairman and co-founder Frank Lowy, Westfield has pioneered USA mall redevelopment, introducing upscale food courts, high-end restaurants, bars, cinemas and boutique fashion outlets to entice shoppers.

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The Lowy family, which owns 9.0 percent of Westfield, said they would rather be investors than executives after putting in a combined 145 years at the company, which has stakes in 18 suburban USA shopping centers, three of which it wholly owns.

"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. Mr. Lowy, born in 1930 in Czechoslovakia, survived the Holocaust and fought in the Israeli war of independence before moving to Australia.

American and European assets retained the Westfield brand, while assets in Australia and New Zealand were formed into a new entity called Scentre Group. "They forged him into steel, ' she said", write Jamie Smyth, Harriet Agnew and Aime Williams for Financial Times.

"We started small and we took Westfield to the world".

"Sir Frank hit the phones, rallied investors' support and a few weeks later won approval for the demerger, creating an global group, Westfield Corporation, and a local operation, Scentre". The company on Tuesday said this had set it up for the Unibail deal. He was knighted by this month for his contributions to the United Kingdom's economy and for his philanthropy.

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