May 24, 2018 / 1:54 AM / 7 months ago

Westfield shareholders approve $16 billion Unibail-Rodamco deal; Chairman Lowy retires

FILE PHOTO: A Westfield Corp sign adorns the side of a building in central Sydney, Australia, December 12, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray

(Reuters) - Westfield Corp WFD.AX shareholders have voted in favor of a $16 billion takeover by Unibail-Rodamco UNBP.AS, the chairman of the Australian shopping mall giant said on Thursday.

The approval was the final hurdle for the takeover, which has already received the green signal from Unibail shareholders, boards of both companies, as well as Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.

Chairman Frank Lowy, who also announced his retirement after 58 years with the company, said in a statement that the buyout was “supported by the vast majority of shareholders”.

He added that two Westfield directors, Peter Lowy and John McFarlane, would join the supervisory board of Unibail.

Unibail, Europe’s biggest property firm, and Westfield announced the deal in December, looking to create a global leader in the retail sector that is grappling with the online shopping challenges led by Amazon.

Shares of Westfield had jumped nearly 15 percent on Dec. 13 after the deal was announced.

Westfield shares were down 0.4 percent on Thursday, versus the broader market’s decline of 0.1 percent.

Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru, Editing by Himani Sarkar

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