Westfield Merger To Go Ahead
Westfield Retail Trust (WRT) shareholders today proved the proposal to merge with Westfield Corp’s (WDC) Australasian business.
76% of WRT shareholders approved the merger and operation restructure – just over the required 75% minimum threshold, reports AAP.
The approval paves the way for the creation of Scentre Group, which will operate Westfield’s Australian and New Zealand business.
Meanwhile, Westfield Corporation will own and run the retail giant’s international business. Both companies will be independent entities.
Chairman of WDC, Mr Frank Lowy AC, said he was pleased with the result and claimed it reflected the will of the overwhelming majority of investors in both WDC and WRT.
“Achieving a 75% ‘yes’ vote was a high hurdle but we were always confident of the intrinsic strategic merit and fairness of the proposal to both entities and we now look forward to the creation of what will be two new, great companies,” he said.
However, the merger proposal was not without scandal, after Westfield suddenly deferred the initial vote late last month after proxy votes indicated the deal would not pass, which several WRT shareholder criticised as a “set up’.
Mr Lowy, will chair both Westfield Corporation and Scentre Group.
Peter and Steven Lowy will be Co-Chief Executive Officers of Westfield Corporation and Westfield Group Chief Financial Officer, Peter Allen, will head up Scentre Group.