Unibail Shareholders Reject Mall Owners Rights Issue

Nov 10 Reuters Shareholders of UnibailRodamcoWestfield have voted against a planned 3.5 billion euro 4.15 billion rights issue, the shopping mall owner said on Tuesday.

This follows vehement opposition from a consortium led by French billionaire Xavier Niel and Leon Bressler, the firms former CEO.

Shareholders also approved three appointments to the supervisory board, put forward by the rebel consortium namely Niel, Bressler and Catalan businesswoman Susana Gallardo.

We will have to review all possible alternatives to rapidly strengthen the Groups financial structure, said chief executive Christophe Cuvillier in a statement.

He added that a possible first COVID19 global vaccine could significantly help the sector and Unibails own recovery plan.

Retailers have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with many forced to close during governmentenforced lockdowns. Mall owners have also had to help tenants with rent relief.

Unibail, Europes biggest property owner, announced the capital increase in September as part of broader restructuring plan, which includes selling off some 6 billion euros of assets.

After the vote, Cuvillier said the group still planned to implement the plans other components.

The consortium had called the issue completely unnecessary and highly destructive to shareholders and argued that the firm should sell off its U.S. assets to focus on Europe.

It blamed URWs 2017 acquisition of Westfield, which is mainly focused on the United States…

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