Westfield Trust and Commonwealth Funds Management deal with A$1.2 billion shopping centre joint venture
24 November 2003
Westfield Trust (ASX: WFT) has agreed with Commonwealth Funds Management (CFM) to: – .
- Acquire CFM’s 50% interest in Westfield Belconnen (Canberra, ACT) for $230 million, at an initial yield of 6.75%.
- Acquire CFM’s 50% interest in Westfield Marion (Adelaide, SA) for $323 million, at an initial yield of 6.50%;
- Acquire CFM’s 50% interest in Westfield Arndale (Adelaide, SA) for $57 million, an initial yield of 7.95%;
At the same time, WFT has agreed to sell to Centro Properties Group (CEP) 100% of Westfield Arndale for $117 million. The sale of Arndale represents a yield of 7.50% on WFT’s 50% interest.
“Westfield Marion and Belconnen are two of Australia’s top performing regional shopping centres. We are investigating to, over time, introduce a new joint venture partner into Westfield Marion and retain 100% ownership of Westfield Belconnen, which has significant redevelopment opportunities” said Westfield Trust Managing Director Steven Lowy.
WFT’s 50% share of Arndale has a book value of $45.6 million and its sale will result in a profit on sale of $14.4 million. The proceeds of the sale will be used to partly fund WFT’s purchase of the Belconnen and Marion interests and is part of WFT’s reweighting into higher quality assets.
WFT’s total outlay for the purchase of CFM’s share in Belconnen and Marion and sale of Arndale is $527 million. The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on Westfield Trust’s distributions per unit in 2004.
WFT’s distribution per unit growth forecast remains at 4.5% for calendar year 2003 and 4.0% for calendar year 2004.
The transaction will also be funded from part of the proceeds of WFT’s A$850 million issue of unsecured notes and call options. WFT’s gearing will increase from 36% to 38%.
The CFM transaction is expected to settle in late December 2003. The sale of WFT’s interest in Arndale to CEP is expected to settle in January 2004.
Westfield Belconnen is a regional shopping centre located in Canberra, ACT. The centre has a total area of more than 75,000 square metres and includes Grace Bros, Kmart, Coles, Woolworths, Hoyts Cinemas and more than 200 specialty retailers. As at September 2003 the centre had total annual retail sales in excess of $377 million.
Westfield Marion is a super regional shopping centre located in Adelaide, South Australia. It is the largest shopping centre in Adelaide and one of Australia’s top 10 shopping centres. The centre has a total area of more than 119,000 square metres and includes Myer, David Jones, Target, Big W, Kmart, Harris Scarfe, Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings, Greater Union cinemas and more than 292 specialty retailers. As at September 2003, the centre had total annual retail sales in excess of $530 million.
Westfield Trust with gross assets of $12.4 billion is Australia’s largest listed property trust. With a current market capitalisation of $7.5 billion it represents approximately 16% of the Australian Property Trust Index.
The Trust’s property portfolio now comprises interests in 50 shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand, with 3.1 million square metres of gross lettable area servicing more than 9,400 retailers who generate in excess of $13.9 billion of retail sales.