The Real Deal New York

Here’s who’s buying Australian developer Westfield and what it means for malls

The buyer is Franco-Dutch retail giant Unibail-Rodamco
May 06, 2018 04:18PM

Westfield Sydney. (Credit from back: Mw12310/Wikimedia Commons, Nick Youngson)

Westfield’s soon-to-be buyer, Unibail-Rodamco, is making moves on American shopping malls.

The European retailer owns a $52 billion portfolio in Europe and, once the purchase of Westfield is approved by shareholders, it will own the Australian developer’s $22 billion worth of American and U.K. malls, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal is expected to close next month.

Though Unibail’s stock values are down, indicating shareholders may not be thrilled to see the company take on debt to the tune of what analysts estimate is more than 40 percent of their total portfolio’s value, the combination of Westfield and European retail giant holds some long-term promise, at least to the Journal: Westfield’s bringing high-end properties to the table while Unibail has a track record of cycling tenants through its malls quickly and raising rents. The combination of the two could represent a new era for malls with this deal.

With Westfield, Unibail will be almost the same size as its American counterpart Simon Property. [WSJ]Erin Hudson