Westfield poised for positive vote

Westfield Retail Trust shareholders hint sweetener will earn restructure green light: report.

A sweetener from Frank Lowy on the proposed restructure of his $70 billion property empire appears to have done the trick, with many investors indicating they will now support the deal, The Australian Financial Review reports.

Several institutional investors told the paper of a swing in their perception of the proposed shake-up on news $300 million would be cut from the debt of the newly formed Scentre.

“Whilst small, it is sufficient enough to see the deal supported. It looks like a sensible outcome and the proposal is most likely going to be achieved,” Freehold Investment Management fund manager Andrew Smith told the AFR.

The restructure will see Westfield Group (WDC) and Westfield Retail Trust (WRT) merge and then split into separate vehicles: the Australia and New Zealand-based Scentre and the overseas-focussed Westfield Corporation.

Several large Westfield Retail Trust shareholders have, however, remained quiet on the latest announcement, casting some doubt on the deal ahead of the May 29 vote.