France’s Unibail-Rodamco acquires Australia’s Westfield Corp for $24.7 billion, including debt

The combined company has properties strategically located in 27 of the world’s most alluring retail markets.

In what is said to be the biggest takeover of an Australian company to date, France’s Unibail-Rodamco has agreed to acquire shopping mall owner Westfield Corp for a whopping $24.7 billion including debt.

Westfield owns and operates thirty five shopping centers in the U.S and U.K. It has been valued at $32 billion in this “highly compelling” deal.

“Unibail-Rodamco’s track record makes it the natural home for the legacy of Westfield’s brand and business,” said Frank Lowy, Westfield’s Chairman and co-founder in a statement.

In its statement, Unibail-Rodamco said the merger of both companies would create a global property leader whose gross market value is $72 billion.

Westfield’s flagship malls include Westfield London, where it is working on a $800,000 (600,000 pound) expansion and Century City in Los Angeles, where it is completing a $1 billion overhaul.

Westfield also has stakes in 18 suburban U.S. shopping centers, three of which are wholly owned by it.

Unibail Rodamco has said Westfield’s shareholders would receive a combination of cash and shares, valuing Westfield at $7.55, or A$10.01 a share, representing a premium of 18% to its last traded share price.

On Tuesday, trading on Westfield’s shares were halted pending the announcement. They were last traded at A$8.50.

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