After selling off stakes in its U.S. malls in recent years, in part to fund its entry into emerging markets, Australian regional mall operator Westfield Group has suddenly opted to exit its joint venture in Brazil, according to Fox Business. Westfield has sold its 50 percent stake in the joint venture back to its Brazilian partner, Almeida Junior Family, with scant explanation other than that it was not "conducive to the achievement of the group's long-term objectives in Brazil."
Westfield agreed to purchase a 50 percent interest in the Brazilian mall operator for roughly $466 million in August 2011, according to Bloomberg. The partners planned to pursue growth through greenfield development and acquisitions, but no transactions have been announced since the venture was launched.
An article in The Australian earlier this year noted that declines in the value of Brazilian currency and tensions between Westfield and Almeida, possibly over the two firms' tolerance to risk, were putting the venture in jeopardy.