THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said last week it would not oppose the proposed purchase of Karrinyup Shopping Centre by Westfield Group and Westfield Retail Trust (WRT) as long as they parted ways with Innaloo Shopping Cent
Westfield and WRT have a 33 per cent interest in the centre and is hoping to take complete ownership. It also owns Innaloo, which is located 3km from Karrinyup.
Westfield corporate affairs manager Julia Clarke said Westfield and the Westfield Retail Trust had sought clarity on the regulator’s position regarding potential ownership structures of Karrinyup in future when they jointly made inquiries to the ACCC.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said during its market inquiries, the ACCC focused on if the proposed acquisition would be likely to result in Westfield and WRT extracting higher rents from retailers seeking to lease retail space. ‘In particular, the ACCC considered how the acquisition would affect retailers relying on comparison shopping such as clothing, footwear, jewellery and gift stores,’ he said.
The ACCC found there was limited alternative retail space available in the north-west metropolitan area, and retail space at Westfield Innaloo and Karrinyup Shopping Centre were close alternatives.