Why the family behind Westfield moved to sell, not hand down empire

The Lowys are selling the company to Unibail-Rodamco for $15.7B

New York /
Dec.December 19, 2017 11:25 AM

Frank, Peter, and Steven Lowy (Credit: Getty Images)

The Lowy family that built Westfield Corporation into one of the biggest mall owners across the globe looks like a real estate dynasty in many ways, but not when it comes to retaining control of that empire.

“Westfield always was dominated by the family, but it was never meant to be one of those dynasties to be handed down,” Westfield co-chief executive Peter Lowy told the Wall Street Journal.

Unibail-Rodamco’s $15.7 billion purchase of Westfield is one of the unusual cases of a real estate family giving up control, but in line with the Lowy’s family philosophy.

Holocaust survivor Frank Lowy took the company public in 1960. And while his sons – Peter Lowy, 58, and Steven Lowy, 55 – serve as co-chief executives, none of their children are active in the company.

Peter Lowy said the family “consciously didn’t” lead the next generation toward careers at Westfield “because it was a public company.”

“My dad never believed, I don’t believe and my brother doesn’t believe that just because of us, you would not take [the sale to Unibail] to its logical conclusion,” he said.

Peter Lowy, who lives in Los Angeles, had considered leaving Westfield in 2015 after company split in two, before the board and his father changed his mind.

Unibail in 2014 made a bid to buy Westfield, but was rejected for being too low, according to the Journal. [WSJ]Rich Bockmann


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Multifamily sector beating the odds

Multifamily sector beating the odds

Multifamily sector beating the odds
The home improvement retailer will stay in it's Flatiron location (Google Maps)

Home Depot extends lease for Flatiron store

Home Depot extends lease for Flatiron store
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. CEO Antonio Neri (Unsplash; Hewlett Packard Enterprise)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise leaves Silicon Valley for Texas

Hewlett Packard Enterprise leaves Silicon Valley for Texas
Convention centers are a losing proposition for private developers, but local governments see them as a way to attract business tourism. (iStock)

Convention centers boom despite shows going virtual

Convention centers boom despite shows going virtual
Charlie Kushner and Laurent Morali with Commons at White Marsh Apartments in Maryland (Photos via Sasha Maslov and CommonsatWhiteMarsh)

Kushner looks to unload multifamily properties for $800M

Kushner looks to unload multifamily properties for $800M
Having learned from missed opportunities a decade ago, family offices are strategically looking for distress opportunities in real estate (iStock)

Family offices are gearing up to pounce on distressed real estate

Family offices are gearing up to pounce on distressed real estate
Slate Property's CEO Martin Nussbaum (West End 87)

Scale Lending originates $38M inventory loan for unsold UWS condos

Scale Lending originates $38M inventory loan for unsold UWS condos
Knotel CEO Amol Sarva (Sasha Maslov, Knotel, iStock)

Evictions, unpaid vendors and back rent: Lawsuits mounting against Knotel

Evictions, unpaid vendors and back rent: Lawsuits mounting against Knotel
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...