SYDNEY Dec 5 Shopping mall giant Westfield
Group said on Thursday it would buy the remaining 50
percent interest in New York's World Trade Center for $800
million, which will make the company the sole owner of the
This purchase comes one day after the company announced its
plans to separate global retail assets from its Australia and
New Zealand businesses, which will then be merged with Westfield
Retail Trust (WRT) to form a new
The restructuring has been seen as a strategy to focus on
the company's growth in U.S. and UK international assets, as
traditional Australian retailers are struggling with slowing
growth and a shift to online shopping.
Westfield is buying the remaining 50 percent interest from
the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which entered
into a joint venture with Westfield last year.
The $800 million purchase brings Westfield's total
investment in the World Trade Center to more than $1.4 billion,
with the transaction expected to close in the next 30 to 45
The price is subject to a one-time additional contingent
payment to the Port Authority within five years of the opening
date if Westfield exceeds certain return thresholds, the company
The World Trade Center, still under construction, is
expected to open in 2015.
(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Michael Perry)