Westfield Group (ASX: WDC) announce an agreement with O’Connor Capital Partners (O’Connor) for a series of transactions which will result in a joint venture investment in a portfolio comprising six Westfield regional malls in Florida, US.
O’Connor’s investment will represent a 49.9% interest in this portfolio, which has a gross value of US$1.283 bln (approx. €0.98 bln). The price paid by O’Connor is equal to the Group’s book value. Westfield will remain as property, leasing and development manager on terms consistent with the Group’s other joint ventures.
“This agreement carries on the Group’s strategy of introducing joint venture partners into our assets globally as well as disposing of non-core assets,” said Westfield Group Co- Chief Executive Officer Peter Lowy.
Westfield will realize approximately US$700 million (approx. €537.26 million) in net proceeds from the transactions.
Prior to the redeployment of capital, the transactions are dilutive to the Group’s Funds from Operations (FFO) in 2013 by approximately 1 cent per security. The dilution is expected to be offset by the redeployment of capital, including the on-market buyback of WDC securities. Since the announcement of the Group’s 2012 full year results in February 2013, 19 million securities have been purchased under the buyback program for $212 million.
The transactions are subject to financing and other customary closing conditions and are expected to close in the second quarter 2013.