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Westfield Enters $1.3B JV With O'Connor Capital

Investment Portfolio Covers Six Westfield Regional Malls Across Florida
March 25, 2013
Westfield Group has entered into a joint-venture agreement with O'Connor Capital Partners covering six of its regional malls across Florida.

O'Connor's investment will equal a 49.9-percent interest stake in the portfolio following a series of transactions with a gross value of $1.283 billion. The price O'Connor will pay is equal to Westfield's book value. Westfield Group will remain as property, leasing and development manager at the six properties, consistent with its other joint ventures.

For its part, Westfield will realize roughly $700 million in net proceeds from the various transactions, all expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, subject to financing and other customary closing conditions. The move is a continuation of Westfield's strategy to take on joint venture partners and sell non-core assets in the hopes of capitalizing in faster-growing, high-yield markets like New York City, South America and Europe.

Just last year, Westfield sold eight shopping centers for $1.15 billion, while entering into joint ventures covering an additional 12 assets with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Prior to redeployment of capital, according to a company release, the transactions are dilutive to Westfield's Funds from Operations (FFO) in 2013 by approximately 1 cent per security. Reportedly, the dilution will be offset by the redeployment of capital and buyback of its securities through a buyback program.

The properties included in the joint venture are:

Shopping CenterLocationTotal SFNo. of
Specialty
Stores
Specialty
Percent
Leased
Westfield BrandonBrandon, FL1,152,24719896.1%
Westfield BrowardPlantation, FL986,34611584.7%
Westfield Citrus ParkTampa, FL1,137,19814892.4%
Westfield CountrysideClearwater, FL1,278,24016991.6%
Westfield SarasotaSarasota, FL1,021,88911882.1%
Westfield SouthgateSarasota, FL421,7784791.5%

Australian-based Westfield Group is an internally-managed, vertically-integrated owner, developer, designer, builder, manager and investor of shopping centers. Its current portfolio includes 105 centers located across Australia, the United States, Europe, New Zealand and Brazil totaling 22,800 retail outlets and nearly A$64.4 billion (US $67.37 billion) in total assets. O'Connor Capital Partners is a privately-held, independent manager, owner, operator and developer of real estate.

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