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Westfield sells mall empire for $32.8 billion

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It’s the biggest deal in real estate since 2013.

Sir Frank Lowy’s Westfield Corp has agreed to sell its mall empire for $32.8 billion.

The deal was struck with Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco and marks the end of an era for Lowy, a Czech Holocaust survivor who spend 57 years building his mall empire.

Westfield’s portfolio includes vast malls in the U.S, U.K and Australia.

Unibail-Rodamco offered $10.01 per share for Westfield, about 18% above closing price prior to the deal.

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The 87-year-old founder of Westfield Corp and his sons are now planning to focus on managing investments after getting out of the mall game.

“The transaction announced today is the culmination of the strategic journey Westfield has been on since its 2014 restructure,” Sir Frank told The Sydney Morning Herald from his headquarters in London.

“Most know the history of Westfield’s humble beginnings of a humble store in Blacktown, which is still there,” he added. “Who would have thought that 57 years later I’d be sitting in snowy London talking to you in Sydney like this, certainly not me.”

With online shopping giants such as Amazon becoming increasingly sophisticated and competitive in their offerings, many believe that the future of shopping malls could be up in the air.

The deal is expected to close early next year. Before that happens, Westfield will spin off 90% off OneMarket, its retails tech platform, into a new ASX-listed company.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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