On December 4, 2013, Australia-based Westfield Group unveiled capital restructuring plans for their two parallel operating entities, The Westfield Group (ASX ticker: WDC) and Westfield Retail Trust (ASX ticker: WRT). The Westfield Group owns and operates roughly 100 million square feet of upscale shopping centers worldwide, including two Washington shopping centers—Westfield Southcenter (Tukwila) and Westfield Vancouver (Vancouver). Westfield Retail Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) solely focused on Australian and New Zealand retail property, with total assets valued in excess of $13.8 billion as of June 30, 2013. Westfield Retail Trust holds joint venture ownership in many of the Westfield Group’s Australia and New Zealand assets.
In the media release, Frank Lowy, Chairman of Westfield Group, states “Westfield’s international business and its Australian/NZ business have both grown in scale and quality to the stage where they can now stand on their own.”
The reorganization will consolidate all of the Australian and New Zealand properties from both companies into a new REIT, named Scentre Group, which is expected to be the largest REIT on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The international operations (that is, those properties located outside Australia/New Zealand) will stand alone as Westfield Corporation and will also trade publicly on the ASX. The reorganization is expected to be completed in mid-2014, pending approval by the current shareholders of both entities.
For disclosure, I own no shares of either entity, and the commentary herein does not reflect any opinion of investment worthiness or advice.
Photo of Westfield Stratford City courtesy of mallsecrets.co.uk.
Panorama of Westfield London courtesy of Cristiano Betta.