Iliad founder Xavier Niel now holds 11.4% of the capital and voting rights of shopping center giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) but claims not to want to take control, according to an opinion from the Authority financial markets (AMF) on Wednesday.
Read also: Real estate: Xavier Niel's coup de force at the giant Unibail
Xavier Niel told the AMF that he had crossed
the threshold of 10% of the capital and voting rights of the company
“indirectly through the intermediary of the simplified joint stock companies Rock Investment and NJJ Market which he controls. indirectly hold, to date, 15,789,685 shares ”
or 11.40% of the company's capital, according to the AMF.
In a letter quoted by the Authority, he specifies that these acquisitions were
“financed by equity and bank indebtedness”
, and that if he
not intend to take control of the company”
"Plans to continue (its) purchases depending on market conditions".
Radical change of strategy
Xavier Niel had led with Léon Bressler, former CEO from 1992 to 2006, a sling of shareholders against the previous management of the group, crowned with success with the arrival at the head of the supervisory board of Léon Bressler and the chairmanship of the management board by Jean-Marie Tritant, at the end of 2020. On this occasion, Xavier Niel joined URW's supervisory board.
He had previously pleaded for a radical change of strategy for the group which notably owns the Forum des Halles in Paris, calling into question the takeover in June 2019 of the Anglo-Saxon giant Westfield for more than 20 billion euros, which indebted the land, and demanding the cession of the centers acquired in the United States on this occasion.