Westfield announces acquisition of GPT shopping centers (AU)

The Westfield Group has entered into conditional agreements with General Property Trust for the acquisition of interests in three of GPT’s Australian shopping centers.

These agreements have been concluded in connection with the internalisation proposal announced today by GPT. Completion of the transaction is conditional on approval by GPT unitholders of the internalisation proposal at a meeting currently scheduled for May 2005.

“On completion, this transaction will provide the Westfield Group with additional high quality shopping centers, with good growth prospects,” said the Westfield Group’s managing director Steven Lowy.

“As a unitholder in GPT, the Westfield Group supports the proposal to internalise the Trust and enter into the joint venture with Babcock & Brown. Our current intention is to vote in favour of the proposal which will be put to GPT unitholders.”

The GPT transaction involves the acquisition of:

  • a 50% interest in Penrith Plaza, in Sydney’s west, for $425.4 million (after acquisition costs). This includes payment for development costs in connection with the centre’s current expansion;
  • a 50% interest in Woden Plaza, Canberra, for $262.0 million (after acquisition costs); and,
  • a 25% interest in Sunshine Plaza, Maroochydore, Queensland, for $155.0 million (after acquisition costs). The acquisition of this interest is subject to pre-emptive rights in favour of Australia Prime Property Fund, the current joint owner of this property;

giving a total acquisition cost of $842.4 million.

Penrith Plaza and Woden Plaza are quality major regional center assets in established metropolitan markets in Sydney and Canberra. Sunshine Plaza is a quality major regional shopping center on the rapidly growing Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane (see attachment for background on properties).

Following settlement, Westfield will manage the Penrith Plaza and Woden Plaza properties.

The transactions will be funded from existing bank facilities. Westfield anticipates the transaction will be accretive in the current financial year.

Source: Westfield

Related News