Westfield, WRT to combine, spin off Australia, NZ shopping malls

SYDNEY Tue Dec 3, 2013 5:07pm EST

SYDNEY Dec 4 (Reuters) - Shopping mall giant Westfield Group said it will combine its Australia and New Zealand businesses with those of Westfield Retail Trust (WRT) to create a $26 billion company and carve out a separate international company.

The two new entities - Scentre Group in Australia and New Zealand and Westfield Corp for the international portfolio - will be listed on the ASX and have separate boards and managements, Westfield said on Wednesday.

"Westfield's international business and its Australian/NZ business have both grown in scale and quality to the stage where they can now stand on their own," Westfield Group's Chairman Frank Lowy said in a statement.

The new Scentre Group will have total assets of A$28.5 billion ($26.04 billion) comprising interests in 47 centres, while the new Westfield Corporation will have total assets of $17.6 billion, comprising interests in 44 centres in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe, the company said.

Under the proposal, WRT security holders will receive A$285 and 918 securities in the new Scentre Group for every 1,000 WRT securities held, and Westfield holders will receive 1,000 securities in the new Westfield Corporation and 1,246 securities in Scentre Group for every 1,000 WDC securities held.

The deal is subject to security holder approval, expected to be voted on in May next year.

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