CBL, Westfield Ink Pact

In a fascinating deal, CBL & Associates Properties and Westfield Group--two of the largest owners of regional malls in the U.S.--have formed an interesting partnership called CW Joint Venture.

Westfield is contributing three St. Louis-area properties to the joint venture (and selling a fourth, Chesterfield Mall, outright to CBL). CBL also operates St. Clair Square, which it is contributing to the joint venture, giving the CW entity control of five malls in the region. For its part, CBL is adding five other malls beyond St. Clair and three associated properties to the joint venture.

All told, the CBL/Westfield arrangement is worth just over $1 billion.

"The combination of these four malls and our existing St. Clair Square provides us with a dominant platform in the St. Louis market to maximize leasing results, management synergies and redevelopment opportunities," CBL President Stephen Lebovitz said in a press release.

Doug Harms, Des Peres city administrator, said Thursday evening, "We were aware they (Westfield) were looking to reposition their portfolio and that included disposing of most, if not all, of their St. Louis properties." The city learned about a week ago that Westfield was examining its options.

Harms said he was sorry to hear of the sale announcement. "We've had a good relationship with them, and we're looking forward to working with the new owners."

In another deal, Westfield is buying two malls in Florida--former Mills Corp. assets Broward and Westland Malls--for $400 million from Simon Property Group and Farallon Partners.

You can see CBL's press release here and Westfield's here.

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