Westfield gets go-ahead

Westfield Group will leave its trans-Tasman shopping centres behind to search for growth overseas, after winning a tough shareholder battle over its A$70 billion (NZ$75b) restructuring.

The restructuring was approved yesterday after shareholders in Westfield Retail Trust, which owns half of the shopping centre giant's Australian and New Zealand assets, including Christchurch's Riccarton mall, voted in favour of the controversial plan.

Westfield Group will be split in two from June 25, pending final approval from the New South Wales Supreme Court, with the new Westfield Corporation taking on the company's international business and the Australian and New Zealand shopping centres transferred to a new company called Scentre. Both firms will be chaired by Westfield founder Frank Lowy. AAP