Finance Finance News Westfield splits operations

Westfield splits operations

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Shopping centre giant Westfield Group will split its Australian and New Zealand assets from its international business as it continues to pursue growth overseas.

Those Australasian assets will be merged with those Westfield Retail Trust, which was spun off from the main company in 2010, to create a new company know as Scentre.

Chairman Frank Lowy on Wednesday said splitting the Australian and New Zealand portfolio from the growing international business would allow both companies to better pursue their own strategic goals.

“Westfield’s international business and its Australian/NZ business have both grown in scale and quality to the stage where they can now stand on their own,” Mr Lowy said.

“They can each operate more efficiently, and generate greater growth and value for investors, by being independent.”

The new Scentre business is expected to list on the Australian Securities Exchange next year, while the international business will trade as Westfield Corporation.

The new Scentre business, which is expected to be listed in mid 2014, will include more than $28.5 billion worth of assets and a development pipeline of more than $3 billion.

Westfield Corporation will own more than $US17.6 billion ($A19.31 billion) worth of shopping centres in the US, UK and Europe, and a future development pipeline of more than $US9 billion.

Mr Lowy will become chairman of both entities, while Westfield’s Australian management team will be transferred to the new company.

Westfield Group Co-chief executives Steven and Peter Lowy will head the new Westfield Corporation, though Peter Lowy is expected to stand down at the end of the transition period.