Westfield Group has managed to quickly sell off its 16.67 per cent interest in Perth-based Karrinyup shopping centre to UniSuper for $740 million.

ACCC gives Westfield the green light to buy Perth shopping centre
(Published on 6/09/2013

Westfield Group and Westfield Retail Trust have been given the approval to acquire Karrinyup Shopping Centre in Perth.

The regional shopping centre is located in north-west metropolitan Perth, anchored by a David Jones and a Myer.

This comes after Westfield and WRT accepted a court enforceable undertaking to divest their 33 per cent ownership of nearby shopping centre at Innaloo in fear it would lessen competition in the area. Westfield Innaloo is located 3.3 kilometres from Karrinyup and is a sub-regional shopping centre owned by Westfield and WRT. Westfield Innaloo is anchored by discount department stores and its retail mix also includes supermarkets and specialty retailers.

“During its market inquiries, the ACCC focused on whether the proposed acquisition would be likely to result in Westfield and WRT extracting higher rents from retailers seeking to lease retail space in north-west metropolitan Perth,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“In particular, the ACCC considered how the proposed acquisition would affect retailers relying on comparison shopping such as clothing, footwear, jewellery and gift stores.”

In its findings, ACCC found there were limited alternative retail spaces available in the area and neighbourhood shopping centres do not provide an effective alternative for retailers.

Also, while Westfield Innaloo is currently a sub-regional shopping centre and does not have a department store, it has been able to successfully attract retailers which rely on comparison shopping.

The ACCC will issue a public competition assessment in due course.