French billionaire Xavier Niel has teamed up with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's former boss to oppose the shopping mall group's planned €3.5 billion ($4.10 billion) rights issue, lifting the firm's shares.
The French shopping centres giant has updated on footfall, sales and rent collections, as well as announcing a plan to “strengthen its balance sheet and increase financial flexibility to execute its long-term strategy”.
Unibail Rodamco Westfield has responded to press reports that it’s considering raising new equity and that it has been in early talks with advisers about fundraising options including a €3 billion rights issue.
Europe's largest property firm Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield posted a 14.2% like-for-like decline in H1 net rental income on Wednesday after malls were forced to close during Covid-19 lockdowns, but shoppers are returning.
City-centre shops and malls lost their lustre during the pandemic, but as lockdowns ease across Europe many stores in and around residential areas stand to benefit as consumers remain reluctant to venture far from home.
Shopping malls giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has made “strong progress” with its mall reopenings globally with 65 of 90 now open. And indications are that footfall and trade is stronger than expected in many countries.
As shops prepare to reopen next month, measures are being put in place to keep staff and customers safe, and ideas such as ‘quarantining’ products that have been handled by shoppers are being looked at.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has announced pay cuts of between 20% and 25% for its senior execs with the unpaid salaries and fees being used to support efforts to fight the coronavirus in the countries in which it operates.