WESTFIELD GROUP RAISES GBP524 MILLION / A$1.3 BILLION FROM A NEW JOINT VENTURE WITH QUEENSLAND INVESTMENTCORPORATION AT MERRY HILL, UK
20 December 2006
Countries: United Kingdom
The Westfield Group (ASX: WDC) today announced the formation of a new joint venture with Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) in respect of the Merry Hill shopping centre, near Birmingham in the West Midlands, United Kingdom.
Westfield has sold a 50% interest in the Merry Hill shopping centre and surrounding development land to QIC for 524 million / A$1.3 billion. The joint venture has appointed Westfield as Property, Leasing and Development Manager of the centre.
Merry Hill is one of the largest shopping centres in the UK with an area of approximately 150,000 square metres and contains Debenhams and Marks and Spencer department stores, Asda and Sainsbury supermarkets and over 250 specialty stores and 8,000 car spaces.
Todays announcement continues the Groups capital initiatives, raising equity capital for reinvestment in our global redevelopment programme, said Group Managing Director Steven Lowy.
The Westfield Group purchased its 100% interest in the Merry Hill as part of the Chelsfield/Duelguide acquisition in December 2004 at a cost of 875 million and, to date, a further 16 million of capital expenditure has been incurred. The total transaction value of 1,048 million includes development land valued at 58 million. The implied centre value of 990 million represents a current income yield (on 2006 income after management fees) of 4.3%, exceeding the total cost of 891 million and the current carrying value of 936 million.
We are very pleased to have formed this joint venture with QIC in the UK. The Group has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with QIC at Helensvale in Australia and we look forward to the international extension of this relationship. Steven Lowy said.
This transaction will not impact on the distribution forecast of A$1.065 per security for the 12 month period to December 2006.
– ENDS –
The Westfield Group (ASX Code: WDC) is an internally managed, vertically integrated, shopping centre group undertaking ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, property management, leasing and marketing activities and employing in excess of 4,000 staff worldwide. It has investment interests in 121 shopping centers in four countries, with a total value in excess of A$57 billion and is the largest retail property group in the world by equity market capitalisation.