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Westfield Group 

“Market Cap $19.73 B As of May 2014

At a Glance

  • Industry: Real Estate
  • Founded: 1956
  • Country: Australia
  • CEO: Steven Lowy
  • Website: www.westfield.com
  • Employees: 4,647
  • Sales: $2.33 B
  • Headquarters: Sydney

Forbes Lists

#712 Global 2000

  • #434 in Profit
  • #736 in Assets
  • #561 in Market value
Profile

Westfield Group is an internally managed, vertically integrated shopping centre group in the Australia. It undertakes ownership, development, design, construction, funds and asset management, property management, leasing and marketing activities. The company operates through the following segments: Property Investment and Property and Project Management. The Property investments segment includes existing shopping centers and completed developments, revaluation of existing centers. The Property and Project Management segment includes primarily property management and development. It also has a global program to redevelop its shopping centers and to develop new shopping centers. The company’s business roots back to 1960. Westfield Group was founded by Frank P. Lowy and Vale John Saunders in July 2004 and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

“Westfield Group History

The Westfield Group had origins in the western suburbs of Sydney. The first development was named “Westfield Place”, and opened in July 1959 in Blacktown. The name Westfield is derived from “west” related to the West-Sydney location, and “field” due to having located on subdivided farmland. The centre was opened by John Saunders and Frank Lowy.

The company was floated on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1960 and built another five centres in New South Wales before expanding into Victoria and Queensland in 1966-67.

The expansion into the United States began with the purchase of the Trumbull Shopping Park in Connecticut in 1977, and was followed by three centres in California, Michigan and Connecticut in 1980 and three centres in California, New Jersey and Long Island, New York in 1986. In 1994 Westfield joined together with General Growth and Whitehall Real Estate to purchase 19 centres for US$1 billion. Westfield seems to form clusters of centres around particular cities or within a small number of states. They built considerable holdings on the east coast and in California before expanding in the Mid-West. By 2005, the company owned centres in 15 US states.

In the 1990s, Westfield began a major expansion to New Zealand, where they mostly bought existing shopping centres of the Fletchers company, progressively rebranding them. Only in 2007, with Westfield Albany, has the company opened a fully new centre in the country.

In April 2012 it was announced that the Westfield Group will sell seven ‘non-core’ property assets to Starwood Capital Group for A$1 billion and one other property to an undisclosed buyer for A$147 million. The funds will be used to repay debt and invest in businesses offering higher return. The sales are expected to be completed by mid–2012.” 

*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org

**Video published on YouTube by “RandyWittProductions