Westfield property group to sell 50% of London shopping mall for $1.4 billion

The world's largest retail property group, Australia's Westfield Group, today said that it would sell 50 per cent of its upcoming Stratford City shopping mall in east London, for £871.5 million ($1.4 billion).

Sydney-based Westfield will sell a 50-per cent stake in the retail part of Westfield Stratford City to a new joint venture between Dutch pension fund APG Algemene Pensioen Groep NV and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

The retail property group, which owns and operates shopping centres in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US, said that the deal will give it a development profit of about £300 million pounds.

Westfield's development of Stratford City, which is located adjacent to the site of the 2012 London Olympics, is primarily focussed on the creation of a 1.9 million square foot major retail and entertainment destination, due for completion in the third quarter of 2011.

Westfield Stratford City is the gateway to the London Olympic Park which will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. The company expects nearly 70 per cent of the anticipated 10 million spectators will pass through its Stratford City en route to the Park during the Games.

Westfield said that it will retain full ownership of the adjacent non-retail development sites, where it has invested approximately £182 million and which are expected to create significant additional value over time. The total value of the combined Stratford City site will be in excess of £1.9 billion.