Australians join Reubens in £2bn bid for Chelsfield

The global shopping centre owner Westfield is teaming up with fellow Australian developer Multiplex and the billionaires Simon and David Reuben to carve up the British property group Chelsfield in a deal worth £2.1bn including debt.

Under the offer, to be made formally by the end of the week, Westfield, a joint venture of Multiplex and the Reuben brothers will make a combined cash bid of £585m.

The deal will give Westfield and the Multiplex/Reuben venture control of London's White City mall, which Chelsfield is building. It is expected to become London's largest retail centre.

Merry Hill, a shopping centre near Birmingham owned by Chelsfield, is another lucrative asset.

Under the agreement, Chelsfield's assets, including stakes in eight shopping centres and six retail development sites, would be split between the investors.

Including Chelsfield's debt, the joint bid will be worth £2.1bn. Westfield will invest £1.2bn while Multiplex and the Reubens' vehicle Aldersgate, which already owns 35 per cent of Chelsfield, will split the remaining £900m 50-50.

The Reubens, born into an Iraqi-Jewish family and raised in Bombay, have accumulated a fortune from metal trading and property.

They invested in Chelsfield after knowing Elliott Bernerd, the property group's founder and chairman, as a friend for some years.

The joint bid follows Westfield's solo £585m cash offer and avoids a costly bidding war with Multiplex. A source close to the company said: "It makes it a lot easier for Westfield to have a successful outcome. They have the major shareholders on board."

Multiplex and Aldersgate collectively own about 40 per cent of Chelsfield. HBOS, which holds 13 per cent, and Mr Bernerd, with 11 per cent, have said they would accept the proposed offer.

The deal comes four months after Mr Bernerd took the company private for £2bn. By teaming up with Multiplex, Westfield gets hold of Chelsfield's retail assets without having to buy the entire company.

But Westfield said that if the joint bid proposal does not proceed, it will push ahead with its initial £585m cash offer. It would then also sell Chelsfield's non-retail assets, including office developments and a stake in the Wentworth golf course, a source close to Westfield said.

Under the joint bid proposal, Multiplex hopes to sell Wentworth at a premium to its book value.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Life and Style
i100

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Property Underwriter

£70-90,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client a London Market Insurer are seeking a Pro...

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week