Westfield in Supreme Court


Westfield london 2Westfield Retail Trust (WRT) is in court to seek approval to conclude an investor vote on a controversial proposed merger with the Australasian business of Westfield Group.

The planned merger hit a brick wall last week when an investor vote was postponed at the last minute amid heated debate about its merits.

WRT is seeking approval from Sydney’s Supreme Court to send documents to security holders ahead of a rescheduled vote.

Details of the date and venue for the conclusion of the meeting are included in the documents, which are likely to be made public soon after court approval is granted.

Under the restructure plan, Westfield’s Australian and New Zealand businesses would merge with WRT to create a new entity, to be called Scentre.

Westfield Group’s international business, which includes malls in Great Britain and at the World Trade Centre being built in New York, would become Westfield Corporation.

A significant number of WRT security holders believe the proposed restructure favours Westfield Group to the detriment of WRT, and a number of proxy votes lodged last week by WRT security holders in favour of the proposed merger fell just short of what was needed to push the restructure over the line.

Shortly before WRT investors were due to vote, Lowy said Westfield Group would still seek to split its Australasian arm from its international business even if WRT security holders did not approve the planned merger.

Proxies lodged before the original meeting will remain valid, but security holders will be allowed to lodge new proxy votes if they have changed their view on the proposal, the company has said.


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