Westfield Group & Lasalle Investment Management announce joint venture for Westfield Doncaster, Australia
28 August 2007
The Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) and LaSalle Investment Management Inc. today announced a $1.48 billion new joint venture in respect of Westfield Doncaster in Victoria, Australia.
LaSalle, on behalf of the Asia Property Fund, has exchanged agreements to acquire a 50% interest in Westfield Doncaster and will make progressive payments over the next 18 months to fund the current redevelopment project. The total investment of $738 million represents 50% of the value of the centre on completion at a property yield of 4.7%.
Westfield will continue in its development, design and construction role, on behalf of the Joint Venture, for the current redevelopment of Doncaster. The joint venture has also appointed Westfield as the Property, Leasing and Development Manager of the centre.
We are pleased to be able to announce the formation of a new joint venture with LaSalle Investment Management on one of the prime centres in the Groups Australian portfolio. Westfield Doncaster is set to become our flagship centre in Victoria and is reflective of the landmark destinations which the Group is creating through innovative development globally, said Group Managing Director Steven Lowy.
Following development completion at the end of 2008, Westfield Doncaster will be a three level super regional centre in the affluent north eastern region of Melbourne. The centre will have an area of approximately 120,000 square metres and will contain major retailers such as Myer and David Jones department stores, Coles and Safeway supermarkets, Big W and Kmart discount department stores and Village Cinemas. In addition, the centre will include a new Caf Court and Entertainment and Leisure Precinct and approximately 400 specialty stores.
Andrew Heithersay, Regional Director of LaSalle Investment Management, added Westfield Doncaster will reap the benefits of an attractive catchment area with strong growth prospects. Furthermore, given Westfields position as the premier shopping centre group in the region, were delighted to partner with them on this blue-chip investment for the Asia Property Fund.
The transaction will be accretive to Operational Segment earnings and will not impact the Groups distribution forecast for the 2007 year of 106.5 cents per security.
The Westfield Group (ASX Code: 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 in excess of 4,000 staff worldwide. It has investment interests in 119 shopping centres in four countries, with a total value of in excess of A$60 billion and is the largest retail property group in the world by equity market capitalisation.
Asia Property Fund
Asia Property Fund is a core, pan-Asia Pacific, open-ended fund for institutional investors and pension schemes,targeting gross assets of US$3-5 billion. It is the first of its type in the Asia-pacific region and is co-sponsored by two of the worlds leading property fund managers, PRUPIM and LaSalle Investment Management.
Prudentials UK life funds have seeded the Fund with its existing Asia Pacific direct property portfolio, which comprises five assets valued at over US$600 million located in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea. Additional committed equity from some of Prudentials Asian life funds and LaSalle Investment Management. The Fund will invest in real estate throughout the region in multiple property types and structures.
LaSalle Investment Management
LaSalle Investment Management, Inc., a member of the Jones Lang LaSalle group (NYSE: JLL), is a leading global real estate investment manager, with more than $45 billion of assets under management. LaSalle Investment Management is active across a range of real estate capital and operating markets including private and public, debt and equity. LaSalle Investment Management is authorised and regulated for investment business in the UK by the Financial Services Authority. LaSalle has actively participated in real estate markets across Europe and North America for 25 years and since 2000 in Asia Pacific, where it manages US$5.7 billion of assets.For more information, visitwww.lasalle.com.
PRUPIM is one of largest real estate investment managers in the world with over US$37 billion invested in a broad spread of properties across all UK sectors and overseas as at 31 December 2006. PRUPIM Singapore is the Asia-Pacific operation of PRUPIM. Managing over US$1billion of property assets in Asia-Pacific, PRUPIM Singapore also benefits from the infrastructure and leading market position of Prudential’s pan-Asian fund management operations in the region. For more information, visitwww.prupim.com.