Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) has maintained its deleveraging progress with US and European asset sales with the announcement of the sale of Westfield Brandon Shopping Center (located in Brandon, Florida) in the US for $220 million and “V” office building in France for €95 million, bringing total sale proceeds to €4.7 billion. It was reported in 2021 that Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) planned to sell all of it’s US holdings in 2022. Last year, then-Chief Executive Jean-Marie Tritant told investors that Unibail wants to shed most of its U.S. properties by the end of 2023, according to a Wall Street Journal report, which pushed things back about a year. Montgomery Mall and Wheaton Mall (Westfield Montgomery and Westfield Wheaton), both located in Montgomery County, are owned by URW.
URW operates over 75 shopping centers in 12 countries, including over 40 which carry the Westfield brand. These centers attract over 900 million visits annually. Fabrice Mouchel, Chief Financial Officer of URW, said: “URW continues to achieve deleveraging progress, even in a more challenging financing environment. With these two transactions, we have now generated €4.7 Bn in disposal proceeds since 2021 and consistently improving credit metrics. The Group’s robust operational performance and strong liquidity position will allow us to complete our deleveraging programme, including a radical reduction of our US financial exposure, in a timely and disciplined manner.”
For Westfield Brandon, the sale price of $220 million (URW share 100%) reflects a 10.0% net initial yield and a 4.4% discount to the latest unaffected appraisal. Westfield Brandon is an A-minus-rated 107,000 sqm (1.15 Mn square foot) property with occupancy at 84.5%. For “V”, the sale price of €95 million is in line with the last unaffected appraisal value, delivers a double digit IRR and a net initial yield of 5.7%. Delivered in 2019, “V” is over 15,000 sqm (161,000 square feet) and holds an Excellent BREEAM construction sustainability rating.
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