Westfield welcomes Hermes as a long-term, institutional investor in UK centres

02 October 2002

Countries: United Kingdom

Westfield Holdings today welcomed the decision of HermesProperty Asset Management Limited to purchase MEPC’s 50% equityinterest in six of Westfield’s UK shopping centres for 115million (A$340 million).

The six centres, valued at approximately 700 million(A$2.1 billion) are: The Eagle Centre, Derby; Brunel Centre,Swindon; Friary Shopping Centre, Guildford; Castlecourt, Belfast;Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells and Mill Gate, Bury.

Hermes, one of the UK’s leading fund managers – with 40billion (A$120 billion) in funds under management – made theacquisition on behalf of the British Telecommunications PensionScheme, which will now jointly own the properties with WestfieldHoldings.

Westfield Managing Director, Steven Lowy, said the transactionconfirmed the value of the portfolio and represented a majorbuilding block in Westfield’s plans for the UK, introducing along-term, institutional partner to invest in the portfolio.

“This represents an expansion of the relationship betweenWestfield Holdings and Hermes, established in early 2000 to jointlyown and redevelop the Broadmarsh centre in Nottingham,” hesaid.

The chairman of Hermes Property Asset Management, RichardHarrold, said: “We’re very pleased to purchase this interest as webelieve the portfolio has considerable potential. We look forwardto working with Westfield with whom we already have a strongrelationship through the Broadmarsh partnership in Nottingham.”

Westfield’s Director for Europe, Peter Allen, welcomed Hermesinvestment as a sign of confidence in Westfield’s ability to manageand develop the portfolio on behalf of the partnership.