The Westfield Group today announced it has entered into agreements to divest seven non-core shopping centers in the US to a Starwood Capital Group controlled affiliate for US $1.64 billion (approx. €1.23 billion).
Westfield Group Co-CEO Mr. Peter Lowy said “Today’s announcement continues the implementation of our strategic plan which positions WDC to generate greater shareholder value.”
“We are focused on redeploying our capital into superior retail destinations in major cities through divesting non-core assets and introducing joint venture partners into our high quality portfolio of assets.”
Starwood will own and manage the majority interest in the centers with Westfield retaining a 10% common equity interest.
The transactions’ value of $1.64 billion is $120 million below the book value of the assets at December 31, 2012 and in line with the book values at June 30, 2013.
Post the transactions, WDC will own and operate a portfolio of 40 centers in the US with average annual specialty sales of $513 psf, at June 30, 2013 compared to $494 psf reported in WDC’s 2013 half year results announcement.
The transactions will not impact the Group’s Funds from Operation (FFO) forecast for 2013 of 66.5 cents per security and distribution of 51.0 cents per security.
The divestment is expected to have an annualized dilutionary impact to the Group’s FFO of approximately 4.5 cents per security, which is expected to be mitigated by the redeployment of capital and the buy-back of WDC securities.
The transactions are expected to close in Q4 2013.