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Westfield insists Unibail deal on track

Prashant Mehra  |  22 Feb 2018Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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SYDNEY - [AAP] Westfield Corporation's (ASX: WFD) joint CEO Peter Lowy insists its board and the Lowy family remain committed to the shopping centre giant's $33 billion takeover by Unibail-Rodamco, despite share-market volatility hitting valuations.

Co-chief executive Peter Lowy has told an investor call following the company's full-year results that he is still confident the deal will go through.

"There is no Plan B. We are committed to this transaction," he said.

"From the family and company's point of view, there has been no change in the strategic rationale that we put out in December, on why we are strongly recommending it."

His comments follow speculation in the past few weeks over the deal's fate after currency volatility and a drop in the value of Unibail's share price cut the value for Australian investors.

Under the proposal announced in December, Westfield securityholders will receive $US2.67 in cash and 0.01844 securities in Unibail for each Westfield share.

In response to a query by market regulator ASIC, the Paris-listed property giant on Wednesday said it had no intention of changing the bid, but reserved the right to do so.

"We see no change in any of the bases of the transaction," Mr Lowy said on Thursday, in response to analysts' queries.

"The documents will come out in April, there will be an independent expert's report, the shareholders will then be able to evaluate that against where the transaction sits at the time."

Westfield earlier on Thursday announced a 13.5 per cent lift in full-year profit to $US1.55 billion ($A1.99 billion), but declined to provide earnings guidance as it was in the midst of the Unibail-Rodamco transaction.

Revenue for the year to December 31 was up 17.1 per cent at $US2.1 billion, while funds from operations, the company's preferred measure of performance, had risen to $US707 million, up 2.3 per cent from last year after adjusting for currency fluctuation.

The company, which owns shopping centres in the United States and United Kingdom, has declared a final dividend of 12.75 US cents.

By 1250 AEDT, Westfield shares were down 0.5 per cent at $8.58.

WESTFIELD LIFTS FULL-YEAR PROFIT:

* Profit up 13.5pc to $US1.55bn

* Revenue up 17.1pc to $US2.1bn

* Final dividend of 12.75 US cents, up from 12.55 US cents

 

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is a freelance journalist.

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© 2020 Australian Associated Press Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors. This is the Morningstar service with content provided by AAP where indicated. AAP reserves all rights, including copyright, in services provided by it. The information in the service is for personal use only, does not constitute financial product advice (whether general or personal) and may not be re-written, copied, re-sold or re-distributed, framed, linked or otherwise used whether for compensation of any kind or not, without the prior written permission of AAP. You should seek advice from a professional financial adviser before making decision to acquire or dispose of a financial product.

This service is published for general information purposes only without assuming a duty of care. AAP is not in the business of providing financial product advice (whether personal or general advice), and gives no warranty, guarantee or other representation about the accuracy of the information or images contained in this service. AAP is not liable for errors, omissions in, delays or interruptions to or cessation of the services through negligence or otherwise. The globe symbol and "AAP" are registered trademarks.

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