Westfield sold to Unibail-Rodamco in a massive $24.7bn deal

  • August 22, 2018

Westfield sold to Unibail-Rodamco in a massive $24.7bn deal

French property giant Unibail-Rodamco has agreed to buy shopping centre owner Westfield Corp for $24.7bn (£18.5bn), in a deal which will lead to new malls spreading across Europe.

With Westfield group owning and operating 35 shopping centres in the US and UK and Unibail-Rodamco having 71 sites in Europe, this is a deal of shopping centre giants that will change the game in retail. Both groups have committed to expanding the Westfield brand as a flagship shopping destination.

According to the shopping mall tycoon, Frank Lowy, Unibail-Rodamco has a track record that makes it the natural home of the legacy of the Westfield brand.

Sir Frank Lowy, said that the takeover was a culmination of the strategic direction Westfield had taken since a restructure in 2014 when it separated its Australian and New Zealand assets from those in the UK and US. The multi-billion takeover will appoint a new advisory board and chief executive branch, as the Lowy family will step down from the broad. Nonetheless, the Lowy family will maintain a substantial investment in Unibail-Rodamco.

Unibail’s chair and CEO Christophe Culliver stated:

“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.”

The progressive roll-out of the world famous Westfield brand will make both companies richer by €100m (£88.2m) despite the lack of overlap between the physical locations of the shopping centres.

The deal will save costs from advertising and marketing spending as the Westfield brand will be instantly recognizable in locations such as Paris, Barcelona, Vienna and Warsaw.

Sir Frank Lowery is one of the richest people in Australia with a fortune of $5.9bn, according to Forbes magazine and was knighted by the Queen last week. Originating from Eastern Europe and having survived the Holocaust in Hungary Sir Frank relocated to Australia in 1952 where we founded the Westfield shopping empire.

The takeover has already been approved by the Lowry family and it could be completed as early as in mid-2018 once it gets regulatory and shareholder approval.