Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Heerlen, Netherlands, is backing a hostile bid for closed-end real estate fund Rodamco North America by Australian real estate group Westfield Holdings.
The 150 billion euro ($134 billion) pension plan last week sold a 23.9% stake in RNA for 537 million euros to Westfield Holdings, which wants to replace RNAs existing supervisory and management boards and merge RNA with Westfields U.S operations, said Laura Frost, Westfield spokeswoman. Westfield earlier this week requested that RNA call an emergency general meeting which local procedures require it hold within eight weeks for shareholders to discuss its proposals.
RNA, which had total assets of $6.5 billion at the end of February, is considering the request, said Astrid van der Put, spokeswoman. But RNAs recently announced joint venture with the $156 billion California Public Employees Retirement System, Sacramento, to own three regional U.S. shopping malls could be affected if Westfields bid is successful, said Matt Deminski, RNA president. CalPERS would have the option of selecting another real estate manager to take control of day-to-day operations of the portfolio if Westfield wins control of the fund.
ABP retains a 6.6% stake in RNA and also has undisclosed holdings in other Westfield funds. Westfield and ABP would need to secure more than 50% of votes at the meeting for the hostile bid to be successful, Ms. Frost said.
In a statement, ABP said the sale of its stake in RNA also was part of its long-term strategy to diversify its 13.8 billion euro real estate portfolio.
Westfield Holdings owns Westfield America Trust, which had a book value of A$8.5 billion ($4.5 billion) at the end of December, Ms. Frost said.