Westfield sells five US shopping centers for $1.1B

Deal to help finance development fund of Aussie giant behind WTC mall
December 21, 2015 12:40PM

Westfield Corp. – the shopping center giant slated to open its long-delayed Mall at the World Trade Center early next year – just sold five shopping malls around the country for $1.1 billion.

The sale –made to a joint venture comprising Centennial Real Estate Co., Montgomery Street Partners and USAA Real Estate – closed Dec. 18 and is meant to fund an $11.4 billion development program that the Sydney, Australia-based company expects to yield 7 percent to 8 percent.

Alongside a separate transaction closed in November, the deal gives Westfield $1 billion in net proceeds, according to Bloomberg. It’s also designed to reduce gearing – Westfield’s debt as a percentage of equity capital – by 3 percent, the company said.

Westfield will continue to hold a 20 percent interest in the five assets, which span more than 6 million square feet of retail space in Connecticut, California, Washington state and Illinois.

Wesfield’s 350,000-square-foot, 125-store retail complex at the World Trade Center is fully leased, the company said earlier this year. The retail giant acquired the space for $1.4 billion in total in 2013. [Bloomberg]Rey Mashayekhi