Westfield considers listing
Peter Lowy has made a surprise decision to continue running Westfield Corporation with his brother as it considers listing overseas and prepares to unveil a raft of flagship international shopping centres.
His decision to stay means the sons of billionaire chairman and founder Frank Lowy will retain a corporate partnership dating back to the late 1980s.
Lowy said he had decided to reverse his decision to leave his job as co-CEO at the end of 2015 after a request from the board, and would instead stay on indefinitely.
“The prospects for the company are extremely exciting,” he said.
“You see where the developments are, I’m just really excited about working here again.”
Steven Lowy said Westfield Corp, the company behind New York’s new World Trade Centre shopping centre, was working on the largest development pipeline in the company’s history, with malls planned for London, Los Angeles, and Italy’s fashion city Milan.
It was also considering whether to list overseas.
“We are still going to consider ultimately where the primary listing of the company will be,” he told Sky Business.
“We’re not that far down the track.”
He said his brother’s continuing leadership would give the company “a lot more horsepower”.
But IG market strategist Evan Lucas, said Peter’s decision to stay showed Westfield Corp wasn’t doing enough to find new talent.
“The Lowy family has too much control at Westfield and maybe some new thinking is needed,” he told AAP.
Conversely, Morningstar analyst Tony Sherlock, said Peter’s expertise was a valuable asset as Westfield Corp built a series of high end projects in the US, UK, and Europe.
“He’s a known quantity, he’s been with the organisation for a long time and they know his track record,” he said.
Peter declined to say if a particular project had made him stay.
Westfield Corp was formed in June 2014 after Westfield’s Australian operations were hived off to form a separate company, called Scentre.
Its World Trade Centre complex is due to open in stages in late 2015, with more than 90 per cent of floor space leased already.
“It will be one of the spectacular buildings of the world in a physical and an architectural sense,” Steven said.
Meanwhile, Westfield Corp has lifted income from its international shopping centres by more than five per cent and has forecast a four per cent lift in funds from operations this year.
The company also reported a 5.3 per cent increase in comparable income during 2014.
It expects to lift funds from operations four per cent to 37.7 cents per security during 2015 and pay shareholders a distribution of 25.1 cents.
Its shares closed five cents lower at $10.09.