Economy

David Jones takeover hits a snag; Westfield boss defies shareholders: Midday Roundup

Engel Schmidl /

Retail billionaire Solomon Lew has poked his head into the David Jones and Woolworths deal, acquiring a 0.65% interest in retail giant David Jones through SL Nominees, according to Business Spectator.

The move could potentially disrupt the planned $2.15 billion takeover of David Jones by South African-based company Woolworths.

Lew, chief of Premier Investments, is on the board of SL Nominees and is a minor shareholder in Country Road. The clothing brand is majority-owned by Woolworths.

SL Nominees now has a relevant interest in 3.5 million David Jones shares. In a statement to the ASX, David Jones said it would publish details of any changes to this interest.

Lowy determined to push ahead despite revolt

Frank Lowy, the billionaire founder of Westfield Group, is not backing down over his push to separate Westfield’s global and local businesses despite a shareholder revolt.

Yesterday, the board of Westfield Retail Trust deferred voting on a proposed $70 billion restructure, which would have split Westfield’s Australian and international assets.

But Lowy is determined to move forward with a restructure.

Before the meeting yesterday, Lowy told the Westfield Group, “If the WRT meeting this afternoon does not approve the proposal, it will not diminish our determination to proceed with WDC’s (Westfield Group) strategic objective of separating the two businesses. We will pursue this separation – but without WRT.”

Shares down on open

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 17.8 points to 5501.7 at 12:20 AEST. Last night the Dow Jones closed up 0.39%, rising 65.56 points to 16,698.74.

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