Westfield Corporation's joint CEO Peter Lowy insists its board and the Lowy family remain committed to the shopping centre giant's $33 billion takeover by Unibail-Rodamco, despite sharemarket volatility hitting valuations.
Co-chief executive Peter Lowy has told an investor call following the company’s full-year results that he is still confident the deal will go through.
“There is no Plan B. We are committed to this transaction,” he said.
“From the family and company’s point of view, there has been no change in the strategic rationale that we put out in December, on why we are strongly recommending it.”
His comments follow speculation in the past few weeks over the deal’s fate after currency volatility and a drop in the value of Unibail’s share price cut the value for Australian investors.
Under the proposal announced in December, Westfield securityholders will receive $US2.67 in cash and 0.01844 securities in Unibail for each Westfield share.
In response to a query by market regulator ASIC, the Paris-listed property giant on Wednesday said it had no intention of changing the bid, but reserved the right to do so.
“We see no change in any of the bases of the transaction,” Mr Lowy said on Thursday, in response to analysts’ queries.
“The documents will come out in April, there will be an independent expert’s report, the shareholders will then be able to evaluate that against where the transaction sits at the time.”
Westfield earlier on Thursday announced a 13.5 per cent lift in full-year profit to $US1.55 billion ($A1.99 billion), but declined to provide an earnings guidance as it was in the midst of the Unibail-Rodamco transaction.
Revenue for the year to December 31 was up 17.1 per cent at $US2.1 billion, while funds from operations, the company’s preferred measure of performance, had risen to $US707 million, up 2.3 per cent from last year after adjusting for currency fluctuation.
The company, which owns shopping centres in the United States and United Kingdom, has declared a final dividend of 12.75 US cents.
By 1250 AEDT, Westfield shares were down 0.5 per cent at $8.58.
WESTFIELD LIFTS FULL-YEAR PROFIT:
* Profit up 13.5pct to $US1.55b
* Revenue up 17.1pct to $US2.1b
* Final dividend of 12.75 US cents, up from 12.55 US cents