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Unibail-Rodamco set to gain from Westfield Corp’s shopper appeal in US$24.7bn takeover, says GlobalData

December 14, 2017 Financial No Comments Email Email

The agreement set out today by Unibail-Rodamco, Europe’s largest commercial property company, will add 35 shopping centres to its portfolio, growing its presence both in Europe and globally. The company will also gain from Westfield’s extensive number of locations in the US as well as those in the UK, and a site yet to be built in Milan.

Likely to be central to the deal, the company will also gain the top two supermalls in the UK – in terms of retail sales – Westfield Stratford City and Westfield London, together with Croydon’s Westfield, which is in the pipeline.

Charlotte Pearce, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, commented, ‘’This deal will allow Unibail-Rodamco to benefit from the growth in the UK supermalls market which according to our latest report, ’UK Supermalls 2017-2022’, is forecast to rise 7.2% over the next five years, reaching £12.3bn in 2022, far outpacing that of the overall offline retail market in the UK.’’

This news comes just a week after property company, Hammerson, announced it had made a bid to take over rival firm, Intu, which according to GlobalData Retail, would give the combined group a stake in 12 of the top 20 supermalls in the UK. Similarly to the Hammerson Intu deal, the Unibail-Rodamco Westfield takeover will allow the combined company to benefit from cost savings but more importantly, it will strengthen its position in the global retail market and gain a broader insight into global shopping trends.

Pearce added, ‘‘The growth in the supermalls channel continues to be boosted by the growing number of food service and leisure options available as well as the wide number and variation of retailers. This makes supermalls a more attractive destination for shoppers compared to local high streets and town centres because they appeal to shoppers’ desire for a social and lifestyle experience. With Westfield setting the bar high in terms of focus on overall experience, it is evident that this takeover is a beneficial move for Unibail-Rodamco.’’

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