Westfield Is All In

A day after it announced its restructuring, shopping mall giant Westfield Group topped itself:  it is buying an $additional 800 million stake in the World Trade Center.

That works out to buying the remaining half of the retail at the WTC that Westfield doesn't already own.

You can see the company's press release on the WTC acquisition here.

The new Westfield stake comes from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and ends their joint ownership retailing venture, which was entered into in May 2012.  The purchase brings Westfield's total investment in the World Trade Center retailing to $1.4 billion.

The press release says that the purchase price "is subject to a one-time additional contingent payment to the Port Authority within five years of the opening date if Westfield exceeds certain mutually agreed upon return thresholds."

Westfield Group, based in Australia, owns 91 malls and shopping centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. 

Yesterday, Westfield and the Westfield Retail Trust announced a proposed merger of the Australian and New Zealand businesses into WRT to form a new company, Scentre Group.

The remaining U.S. and U.K. business will become Westfield Corp.

The two new companies would be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and be completely separate entities, with different boards and management, though they would maintain the Westfield brand on their shopping centers. 

You can see the company's press release on the reorganization, expected to take effect the middle of next year, HERE.

In its article today reporting the World Trade Center acquisition, Reuters noted that the company is dividing itself because growth has slowed in the Australia and New Zealand properties, and the move focuses growth efforts on the stronger U.S. and U.K. properties. 

In our area, in addition to the World Trade Center retail, Westfield owns and operates the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, N.J.  The New Jersey mall website's home page, HERE, contains a drop-down menu listing all of Westfield's U.S. properties.

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