Intu to buy three Westfield shopping centres

Monday, 24 March 2014
Shopping centre group Westfield has sold three of its UK properties, Merry Hill, Derby and Sprucefield to property company Intu as part of deal worth nearly 600 million pounds. Intu has paid 390.3 million pounds for Westfield Derby, which opened in 2007; the shopping centre was Westfield’s first UK investment and features more than 180 shop units over two levels. Sprucefield retail park in County Down was purchased for 69.8 million, while Intu also acquired Westfield’s half share of the Merry Hill centre near Dudley for 407.7 million pounds.

Once other parties' shares were deducted, Westfield's share of the 867.8 million pound deal was 597 million pounds, which is expected to help fund its up-coming developments in Croydon in London and in Milan.

Westfield Group co-CEO Mr Steven Lowy said: “This announcement continues the strategic repositioning of the international portfolio in line with our focus on investing and operating iconic retail destinations in major world cities.

“Post completion of these divestments, the UK/European portfolio will comprise our two major London assets – Westfield London and Stratford, which are already two of the best retail destinations in Europe.”

Westfield sells shopping centres to Intu

Commenting on the transaction, David Fischel, chief executive of Intu, added: “The transaction is a rare and attractive opportunity to acquire a further two prime shopping centres in line with our strategy to focus on the UK’s largest and most successful destinations.

“The acquisition strengthens Intu’s position as the leading owner, developer and manager of prime UK shopping centres filling in gaps in our national coverage and extending the footprint of our nationwide consumer facing brand and digital strategy.”

Intu, which owns 16 centres in the UK, including Manchester’s Trafford Centre, is expected to complete the deal in mid 2014.

Image: Westfield Derby