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Westfield Corporation was an Australian-based British-American shopping centre company with retail destinations in the United Kingdom and the United States. It was created in June 2014 when Westfield Group separated its Australian and New Zealand businesses from its international operations.
|Traded as||ASX: WFD|
|Industry||Real estate development
Shopping centre management
|Fate||Acquired by Unibail-Rodamco|
(as Westfield Corporation)
|Headquarters||Level 29, 85 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, Australia|
|Revenue||A$635.5 million (2014)|
|Total assets||A$29 billion (2016)|
Number of employees
|1,700 worldwide (2016)|
The corporation undertook ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, property management, leasing, and marketing activities for its centres. It is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has a shopping centre portfolio that includes investment interests in 40 shopping centres across the United States and Europe, encompassing around 7,500 retail outlets and total assets under management in excess of $28.5 billion. It also operated Westfield Labs, a technology and design arm based inside the Westfield San Francisco Centre.
On 12 December 2017 the corporation accepted a takeover offer from Unibail-Rodamco to acquire the assets of the company, with the exception of Westfield Labs. The sale price was A$32.8 billion and the takeover was completed by June 2018, creating Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
The Westfield Corporation had origins in the western suburbs of Sydney. The first development was named "Westfield Place", and opened in July 1959 in Blacktown. The name Westfield is derived from "west" related to the West-Sydney location, and "field" due to having been located on subdivided farmland. The centre was opened by John Saunders and Frank Lowy.
The company was floated on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1960 and built another five centres in New South Wales before expanding into Victoria and Queensland in 1966-67.
The expansion into the United States began with the purchase of the Trumbull Shopping Park in Connecticut in 1977, and was followed by three centers in California, Michigan, and Connecticut in 1980 and three centers in California, New Jersey, and Long Island, New York in 1986. In 1994, Westfield joined together with General Growth and Whitehall Real Estate to purchase 19 centers for US$1 billion. The company built considerable holdings on the east coast and in California before expanding in the Mid-West. By 2005, the company owned centrers in 15 US states.
In the 1990s, Westfield began a major expansion to New Zealand, where they mostly bought existing shopping centres of the Fletchers company, and progressively rebranded them. In 2007, with Westfield Albany, the company opened a new centre in the country.
In 2010, the Westfield Group split 50% of its Australian and New Zealand assets into the Westfield Retail Trust, trading on the Australian Stock Exchange as WRT. This trust was folded into the Scentre Group during the 2014 split.
In December 2017 the Westfield Board announced that it was recommending a takeover of the company by Unibail-Rodamco, one of the largest real estate companies in Europe, for a reported $24.8bn USD.
Westfield had interests in 32 shopping malls in the United States, three in the United Kingdom, and one project under development in Italy.
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- Morgan, Elysse; Verrender, Ian (12 December 2017). "Westfield: Lowy family sells shopping centre empire to French property giant for $32 billion". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Westfield agrees to $32.8 billion takeover by European giant Unibail-Rodamco". SBS News. AAP. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "French group to take over Westfield malls for $15.7 billion". Daily Herald. Chicago. AP. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "French bid would create $72bn shopping mall group". Financial Times. United Kingdom. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Cummins, Carolyn (12 December 2017). "End of an era: Westfield accepts $32.8bn offer". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Westfield Stirs (1956–1960)" (pdf). Westfield History: About us. p. 14. Retrieved 5 January 2007.
- Sammartino, André; Van Ruth, Frances (2007). "The Westfield Group". In Dick, H.; Merrett, D. The Internationalisation Strategies of Small-Country Firms: The Australian Experience of Globalisation. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. pp. 308–318.
- Gibson, Anne (23 August 2007). "Countdown under way for Albany supermall rollout". New Zealand Herald.