Westfield Shopping CentreWestfield shopping centre, Stratford, London - 30 Jun 2012

PARIS – Commercial real estate developer Unibail-Rodamco has entered into an agreement to acquire shopping center company Westfield Corporation for an enterprise value of $24.7 billion to create what the companies billed as the world’s leading developer and operator of flagship shopping destinations.

Under the terms of the deal, Westfield shareholders will receive a combination of cash and shares in Unibail-Rodamco valuing each Westfield share at $7.55, representing a premium of 17.8 percent to Westfield’s closing share price on Dec. 11, they said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The acquisition will create a global property leader with gross market value of $72.2 billion, strategically positioned in 27 countries. The new group plans to roll out the Westfield brand in its flagship shopping destinations.

Unibail-Rodamco expects the transaction to be accretive to its recurring earnings per share in the first full year, with expected run-rate synergies of 100 million euros per year.

Christophe Cuvillier, chief executive officer and chairman of the management board at Unibail-Rodamco, will be the ceo of the newly formed group. Colin Dyer, chairman of the supervisory board at Unibail-Rodamco, will retain the same function within the new entity.

“The acquisition of Westfield is a natural extension of Unibail-Rodamco’s strategy of concentation, differentiation and innovation,” said Cuvillier, adding that it added a number of attractive new retail markets in London and the wealthiest catchment areas in the United States.

“We believe that this transaction represents a compelling opportunity for both companies to realize benefits not available to each company on a standalone basis, and creates a strong and attractive platform for future growth,” he added.