Westfield Corp. Acquired for $16 Billion

Westfield Corp. Acquired for $16 Billion

Westfield Corp. Acquired for $16 Billion

Christophe Cuvillier, Unibail-Rodamco's CEO, said he had huge respect for the Lowy family and the Westfield team and would use the combined strength of the two companies to create more "superior quality shopping destinations".

Westfield Corp. operates 16 malls in California, including Westfield Topanga, Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks and Westfield Valencia Town Center in Santa Clarita.

The new Nordstrom store at Westfield UTC mall.

The deal values the Lowy family's stake in Westfield at just over $A3 billion.

A tough consumer spending environment and intense competition from online rivals has made retailers more selective with their expansion plans, making life tough for shopping center operators and driving consolidation in the sector.

Around 37 percent of the combined entity's portfolio would be in France and 22 percent in the United States.

The deal - worth 0.01844 Unibail-Rodamco stapled securities plus US$2.67 in cash for each share - values his stake at nearly $1.7 billion at Westfield's Monday closing price of $8.50 per share.

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Westfield will be delisted from the Australian share market, and Unibail-Rodamco will have a secondary listing in Australia, alongside its stapled securities listed in Amsterdam and Paris.

"All of us at Unibail-Rodamco have huge respect for what the Lowy family and the Westfield team have accomplished with the Westfield brand and the company's iconic collection of world class shopping destinations", said Christophe Cuvillier, Unibail-Rodamco's CEO.

Westfield shares were placed in a trading halt on Tuesday ahead of the takeover announcement, and after resuming trade on Wednesday were up $1.22, or 14.4 per cent, at $9.72 at 1115 AEDT. It expanded to New Zealand and the United Kingdom and entered the USA market in 1977.

Westfield was established in Sydney's west and listed in 1960, before growing rapidly under the control of Frank Lowy, who was chief executive for 50 years before handing over to his sons Steven and Peter in 2011.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) have committed to provide 6.1 billion euros in funding to cover the cash portion of the offer, Unibail said.

The family said they will maintain a substantial investment in Unibail-Rodamco.

"They're all throwing in the towel because they need to drive efficiency through consolidation, which is a direct result of e-commerce", Crowe said of mall owners.

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