Westfield Group sells US centres

Retail group agrees to $US1.64bn sale to a Starwood Capital Group affiliate.

Westfield Group (WDC) has entered agreements to sell seven shopping centres in the United States for $US1.64 billion ($1.77 billion).

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, the group said it would sell the malls to a Starwood Capital Group-controlled affiliate, which will own and manage the majority interest in the centres with Westfield retaining a 10% common equity interest.

The transaction value is $US120 million below the book value of the assets at December 31, 2012 and in line with the book values at June 30 this year, Westfield said.

The transactions are expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, after which Westfield will own and operate 40 shopping centres in the US (see Ian Verrender's Stark choices when shopping for Westfield).