Westfield Group has sold a portfolio of shopping malls in the United States to Starwood Group in a deal worth $1.75 billion.
Shares in the group were up 0.37% to $10.88 at 11:35 am, broadly in line with the market — which was up 0.63%.
The company released a statement to the market this morning, advising of the deal with the global investment firm.
In the statement co-chief executive Steven Lowy said the move was part of Westfield’s goal to concentrate on key cities.
“We are focused on redeploying our capital into superior retail destinations in major cities through divesting non-core assets and introducing joint venture partners into our high quality portfolio of assets.”
Westfield is keeping a 10% equity stake in the portfolio. The transactions’ value of $1.64 billion is $120 million below the book value of the assets at 31 December 2012 and in line with the book values at 30 June 2013.
After the deal is closed in the fourth quarter of 2013 Westfield will operate a portfolio of 40 centres in the United States.
According to the statement, the transactions will not impact the Group’s Funds from Operation (FFO) forecast for 2013 of 66.5 cents per security and distribution of 51.0 cents per security.