UPDATE 1-Westfield eyes $3 bln equity raising

* Westfield considering A$3 billion equity raising – paper

* Also mulling asset sale, asset split – paper

* Sales of London development also considered – paper

* Shares underperforming peers
(Updates with reports, background)

SYDNEY, Nov 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Westfield (WDC.AX: ), the world’s
biggest shopping mall landlord, plans to raise around $3
billion in equity to fund new acquisitions as it prepares to
split its Australian assets from its U.S. and U.K operations,
according to media reports.

Westfield shares were placed in a trading halt Tuesday
ahead of an announcement about a possible transaction.

Westfield was considering an equity raising of about A$3
billion, one source familiar with the matter told Reuters,
confirming reports on two local newspaper websites.

The Australian Financial Review said Westfield was planning
to spin off its Australian shopping centre assets into a
separate vehicle, while its U.S and U.K operations would be
bundled together and listed separately in the United States.

Separately, The Australian newspaper said Westfield was
looking to split in an attempt to boost its share price.

Westfield said it noted the press speculation but a
spokeswoman declined to comment on the reports.

One analyst said there are a few possibilities Westfield
could do, including separating Australian and international
assets.
“One is the complete demerger, which is pretty significant.
And the other one would be something more along the line with
setting up a different fund, either listed or unlisted,” said
one analyst who declined to be named. He said another
possibility would be to put more asset in Carindale Property
Trust (CDP.AX: ), in which Westfield owns a 50 percent stake.

Last month, the Financial Times reported that Westfield was
in talks to offload a stake in its Stratford City development
close to London’s 2012 Olympic Games venue. Westfield could
sell up to 50 percent in the 1.45 billion pound ($2.33 billion)
scheme to fund manager Henderson Global Investors, which is
expected to hold the asset in a fund open to clients, the
newspaper said, without citing sources. [ID:nLDE69O06D]

So far this year, shares of Westfield have been nearly
flat, posting a modest 2 percent gain since the beginning of
this year. Meanwhile, shares of its U.S. counterpart Simon
Property Group Inc (SPG.N: ) rose 24 percent.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi and Eriko Amaha; Editing by Mark
Bendeich)

UPDATE 1-Westfield eyes $3 bln equity raising