WESTFIELD GROUP, WESTFIELD RETAIL TRUST AND AMP CAPITAL RESTRUCTURE OWNERSHIP INTERESTS IN PORTFOLIO OF SEVEN AUSTRALIAN CENTRES
The Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) today announced a transaction with AMP Capital (AMPC) and Westfield Retail Trust (ASX:WRT) that restructures the ownership interests in a portfolio of seven Australian shopping centres with a combined gross value of $5.8 billion.
“I am pleased that we have been able to complete this complex transaction that realigns the ownership and management of these centres and achieves the objectives of all parties,” WDC Co-CEO Mr. Steven Lowy AM said.
“Our relationship with AMP spans over 50 years and has included joint venture ownership of many assets as well as the provision of development, design, construction and property management services.
“This transaction is a further evolution of our partnership with AMP, which we expect to continue for many years to come.”
Under the transaction, WDC will: –
- Acquire from AMPC managed funds for $344 million a: –
- 10% interest Knox (Melbourne);
- 12.5% interest in Mt Gravatt (Brisbane);
- 12.5% interest in Warringah (Sydney)
- Sell to AMPC managed funds for $547 million a: –
- 22% interest in Pacific Fair (Gold Coast);
- 12.5% Interest in Booragoon (Perth);
- 27.5% interest in Macquarie (Sydney)
In aggregate, the transaction is in line with book value and results in WDC receiving net proceeds of approximately $200 million.
WDC will remain joint venture partners with AMPC and WRT in four assets with a gross value of $4.0 billion including Southland (Melbourne), Tea Tree (Adelaide), Liverpool (Sydney) and Warringah.
Post the transaction, WDC will own a 50% interest in Mt Gravatt in joint venture with WRT (50%), a 25% interest in Warringah in joint venture with AMPC (50%) and WRT (25%), and a 25% interest in Knox in joint venture with State Super (50%) and WRT (25%).
“Both Warringah and Knox are in the top 10 centres in Australia with annual retail sales in excess of $700 million and both centres have exciting redevelopment potential,” said Mr Lowy.
WDC will separately pay AMPC $15 million and be appointed to the property management and development roles at Warringah and Knox. In addition WDC will be appointed to the property management and development role at Casey, a neighbourhood centre in Melbourne which has approval for a 22,000 sqm development. The Group retains its 50% interest in Casey, held since 2006.
WDC will no longer have an ownership interest in Pacific Fair, Booragoon and Macquarie, however will be appointed by AMPC to the design and construction roles at these centres. The $390 million redevelopment of Macquarie will now commence and WDC will work with AMPC on the future major expansions at both Pacific Fair and Booragoon.
The transaction is expected to have a neutral impact to WDC earnings for 2012.