Valley Fair owner offers up discounted shares in effort to pay down debt

valley-fair-image1Valley Fair’s owner, Westfield Group — the world’s biggest shopping-center owner by market value — is set to offer 276 million shares at $10.50 each, 13 percent below where they ended in trading on the Australian stock exchange Monday, in an effort to pay down its debt, according to a story by Bloomberg News.

Sales dropped 6.8 percent in the final quarter of 2008 at specialty stores in U.S. malls operated by Westfield compared with the year-earlier period, Bloomberg reported. Occupancy at Westfield’s U.S. malls fell to 92.6 percent at the end of 2008, from 94.1 percent as of December 2007, the company said today. The company said Jan. 27 it will write down assets by A$3 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, adding that profit may decline compared with last year.

In August, Westfield announced an expansion of Valley Fair that would add two new department stores, expansions of both the Safeway and Longs stores on site, as well as more parking facilities.


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