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

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

TRD 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
Maison Kayser (Photo via Tools of Men via Flickr)

Maison Kayser may bid New York adieu

Maison Kayser may bid New York adieu
Newmark’s Brian Waterman with 7 Hanover Square (Google Maps, Twitter)

Newmark nabs REBNY prize for deal with NYC Health + Hospitals

Newmark nabs REBNY prize for deal with NYC Health + Hospitals
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield CEO Christophe Cuvillier, Westfield Century City in Los Angeles and Westfield World Trade Center in New York (Getty, iStock, Google Maps)

Unibail-Rodamco sees 15% decline in US mall rents after offering deferrals

Unibail-Rodamco sees 15% decline in US mall rents after offering deferrals
The legislation from a City Council member introduced a bill to temporarily repeal the commercial rent tax for businesses during the Covid-19 state of emergency. (Getty, iStock)

Commercial rent tax cut introduced in City Council

Commercial rent tax cut introduced in City Council
Michael Rudder, James Nelson, 141 Wooster Street and 633 Third Avenue (Google Maps)

The Outlook: Industry experts break down Manhattan’s office condo market

The Outlook: Industry experts break down Manhattan’s office condo market
Peter Nicoletti and Colliers' David Amsterdam

Colliers taps JLL’s Peter Nicoletti to lead capital markets

Colliers taps JLL’s Peter Nicoletti to lead capital markets
City Council member Keith Powers (Getty)

Pol, biz groups: Suspend rent tax, extend outdoor dining

Pol, biz groups: Suspend rent tax, extend outdoor dining
Only 9 percent of workers had returned to Midtown and 8 percent to Downtown. (iStock)

Where is everybody? City workers still home

Where is everybody? City workers still home
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...