Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, owner of the Mall of the Netherlands, has put in place a financial contingency plan. The real estate giant wants to cut and raise a total of 9 billion euros to get through the crisis unharmed.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has malls all over the world, and although store visits are now picking up, most places are still plagued by the coronavirus. According to Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the number of visitors in European stores was a quarter less than a year ago. In Dutch shopping malls, including Stadshart Zoetermeer and Stadshart Amstelveen, the drop was 23 percent.
To face the crisis, the real estate giant wants to raise 3.5 billion euros by issuing additional shares, thus reducing its debt burden. In addition, the company wants to save 1 billion euros by paying less dividends and wants to reduce its capital expenditures, in addition to 2.2 billion euros in plans that were previously canceled. The real estate sale should generate another 4 billion euros. It was not clear what would be the consequences of the discounts on Dutch shopping centers.
In addition to the lack of shoppers, rental arrears to project owners in shopping centers are also a problem for the real estate company. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is currently still negotiating this matter. The official opening of the Dutch Westfield Mall has been postponed until early next year due to the Coronavirus.
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