Westfield sells 3 UK malls
The Westfield Group said on 20 March it had entered into conditional agreements to sell its interests in 3 UK malls – Merry Hill, Derby & Sprucefield – to Intu Properties plc for £597 million, in line with book value.
Westfield co-chief executive Steven Lowy said the announcement “continues the strategic repositioning of the international portfolio, in line with our focus on investing & operating iconic retail destinations in major world cities.”
After these sales, expected to close mid-year, Westfield’s portfolio in the UK & Europe will comprise 3 London assets – Westfield London, Stratford & Croydon – and Milan, Italy.
Mr Lowy said Westfield expected the divestments to reduce gearing by 2.1%, dilute group funds from operations by A2c/security, and have a similar financial impact on the proposed Westfield Corp. He said the transaction wouldn’t impact on the proposed Scentre Group.
Simon to invest in retail innovation
Simon Property Group Inc launched a new business to invest in retail innovation last Thursday, called Simon Venture Group.
Simon Property chief marketing officer Mikael Thygesen said: “Simon Venture Group will be investing from early-stage to high-growth technology companies, making seed to series C+ investments and focusing on both direct & indirect strategic investment opportunities. We believe we have only scratched the surface on applying technology to the retail environment in innovative, interesting ways.”
The new group will be led by Skyler Fernandes, previously a partner at multi-stage venture capital fund Centripetal Capital Partners and founder of One Match Ventures, a seed fund focused on consumer internet & high-tech companies.
Simon owns or has an interest in more than 325 retail properties in North America, Asia & Europe.
Attribution: Westfield, Simon