Westfield Trust raises A$750 million dollars
07 November 2003
Westfield Trust (ASX:WFT) today raised A$750 million from the sale of Unsecured Notes and Call Options over WFT Units.
The Unsecured Notes and Call Options will be sold by WFT to Deutsche Bank. On the back of this, Deutsche Bank has sold Exchangeable Securities in European markets pursuant to an underwritten book-build which was undertaken overnight.
Westfield Managing Director, Mr Steven Lowy, said: “We are pleased with this transaction. It is the largest public issue of this type of security by an Australian entity and it is the first to be undertaken by an Australian Listed Property Trust.”
The key terms of the Exchangeable Securities to be issued by Deutsche Bank are reflected in the Unsecured Notes and Options to be issued by WFT.
- The WFT Unsecured Notes, which have a five year term maturing on 5 January 2009, have an interest coupon with a margin of 10 basis points over floating rates.
- The WFT Call Options, which are exercisable at any time over the five year period, have a strike price of $3.75 per Unit reflecting a premium of 12.7% over yesterday’s closing price for WFT Units. In all, the Options if exercised will convert into approximately 200 million WFT Units, which represents 9.1% of WFT’s current issued capital.
The proceeds of WFT’s raising, which are anticipated to be received in early December 2003, will be used to pay down existing bank debt and provide additional capacity for future investments.
“This raising will enable Westfield Trust to diversify its funding sources at an attractive margin. In addition, this raising provides the Trust with the opportunity, over time, to refinance debt with an equity issue to a new base of European investors at an historically high Unit price of $3.75” Mr Lowy said.
The Exchangeable Securities will be listed in Luxembourg.
Westfield Trust with gross assets of $12.4 billion is Australia’s largest listed property trust. With a current market capitalisation of $7.3 billion it represents approximately 16% of the Australian Property Trust Index.
The Trust’s property portfolio now comprises interests in 51 shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand, with 3.1 million square metres of Gross Lettable Area servicing more than 9,500 retailers who generate in excess of $14 billion of retail sales.