The Westfield Group (WDC) announced its entry into Brazil through the strategic acquisition of a 50% interest in Almeida Junior Shopping Centers S.A., a vertically integrated owner, manager and developer of Brazilian shopping malls. As a result of this acquisition, WDC will expand its global platform into the growing Brazilian shopping centre market.
The Chairman of Westfield Group, Mr Frank Lowy AC, said: “Today’s announcement represents an exciting and significant strategic investment for the Group which expands our global franchise into this large and high potential market. “This is our first new market entry since we entered the United Kingdom in 2000 and follows the restructure of the Group in late 2010. Whilst the climate in the world financial markets is volatile at present, this transaction is in the Group’s long term investment and funding plan, and one we have been investigating for an extensive period of time.”
WDC will invest R$740 million (A$440 million) and become a 50% owner and active partner in the company to be renamed Westfield Almeida Junior Shopping Centers S.A. Westfield Almeida Junior will own and operate five shopping centres in southern Brazil, including two currently under development. It undertakes all aspects of shopping centre design, development, construction, leasing, marketing, management and ownership along similar lines to WDC. Under the terms of the transaction, Westfield will invest a total of R$740 million (A$440 million) in acquiring a 50% interest in the company, valuing the company at R$1,480m (A$880m). The valuation for the company represents an 11.2 times EBITDA multiple on first year forecast earnings.
The Westfield Group (WDC) is an internally managed, vertically integrated, shopping centre group undertaking ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, property management, leasing and marketing activities and employing over 4,000 staff worldwide. The Westfield Group has interests in and operates one of the world’s largest shopping centre portfolios with investment interests in 124 shopping centres across Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Brazil, encompassing around 25,000 retail outlets and total assets under management in excess of A$59 billion.