Insights

Unibail (ASX:URW) share price tumbles to 52-week low on reset plan announcement

Shareholders of Unibail Rodamco Westfield are facing more pain today after the company announced a costly reset plan.
The post Unibail (ASX:URW) share price tumbles to 52-week low on reset plan announcement appeared first on Motley Fool Australia. –

Green button with arrows in reset position

The Unibail Rodamco Westfield (ASX: URW) share price closed today’s trade down 5.33% to $3.02 per share. This comes after the commercial real estate giant released details of its 9 billion euro (A$14.5 billion) reset plan.

Unibail’s share price is now down to new 52-week lows. Like almost every retail share, Unibail got knocked down during the COVID-19 market rout earlier this year, falling 58% from 18 February through 18 March.

Unlike many of its peers, though, the Unibail share price hasn’t recovered from the selloff. In fact, it’s gone the other way, down another 30% from 18 March. Year-to-date, Unibail’s share price is down 73%.

By comparison the S&P/ASX 200 Index (INDEXASX: XJO) is down 12% in 2020.

What does Unibail Rodamco Westfield do?

Unibail is among Europe’s largest commercial real estate companies, owning retail and office complexes. It has assets in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Unibail acquired Australian shopping centre operator Westfield Corporation, created by the split of Westfield Group, in 2018, which then saw Unibail shares list on the ASX.

What reset plan did Unibail announce?

Unibail said its 9 billion euro reset plan will strengthen its balance sheet and give it increased financial flexibility to pursue its long-term strategies.

The deleveraging plan includes a fully underwritten 3.5 billion euro capital raising the company plans to use straight away to pay down its debt obligations.

Unibail also stated it will limit cash dividends through scrip and a lower payout ratio. A measure it expects will save 1 billion euros in cash over the next 2 years. It also plans to cut its non-essential operating capital expenditures and development by 800 million euros.

By the end of 2021, Unibail expects to complete 4 billion euros worth of disposals. On the European front, approximately half the disposals are retail assets with the other half offices. It also plans to reduce its US regional mall footprint in the near term. The company stated that 1 billion euros of disposals are already well advanced.

The reset plan is intended to maintain Unibail’s strong investment grade credit rating, as well as a sustainable capital structure with a loan to value (LTV) ratio below 40%> It’s also aiming to keep the net debt/earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) ratio below 9 times.

Commenting on the announcement, Christophe Cuvillier, group CEO, said:

URW’s immediate priority, as announced on July 29, is to deleverage, primarily through asset disposals. However, given the uncertainties around the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery, we have decided, as a matter of prudent management, to substantially strengthen our balance sheet, in order to maintain a robust investment grade credit rating and to ensure flexibility in a world that is unpredictable and requires agility…

On the operational front, we see continued improvement in footfall and tenant sales, and are making steady progress in our tenant negotiations. As the environment remains challenging, we believe today’s announcement, including the fully underwritten capital raise, is an important step to ensure URW is best positioned for the future.

With a tough year behind it, the Unibail share price will be one to watch as the reset plan unfolds.

These 3 stocks could be the next big movers in 2020

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

In this FREE STOCK REPORT, Scott just revealed what he believes are the 3 ASX stocks for the post COVID world that investors should buy right now while they still can. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks these could really go gangbusters as we move into ‘the new normal’.

Find out the names of our 3 Post COVID Stocks – For FREE!

*Returns as of 6/8/2020

More reading

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The post Unibail (ASX:URW) share price tumbles to 52-week low on reset plan announcement appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

Trade The World Anywhere & Anytime!

Mobile app platform with over 50,000 global listed securities across 12 markets (over 70% global market capitalisation), right from your Android or iOS device.

Integrated with exclusive trading idea and investment analysis tools to help you find actionable insight on virtually every financial instrument across our 12 global markets, to help you optimise your trading strategies.

Refer Your Friends

Tell your friends about Monex and gift them FREE access to our trading tools.

We respect your privacy and will only send this one email notification to your friends. 

Share With Your Friends

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Monex Trading Tools Access and Usage Terms

The Monex Trading Tools (referred to as ‘tools’ hereafter) are available to you inside your client portal;


To activate access to the tools, you must have a verified and approved trading account and have made a deposit of at least AUD $1000.


An active and funded account with a positive trading balance is required to continue to have access to the tools;


Although the tools are available to you indefinitely, Monex Securities may at it’s discretion disable access to the tools in the future;


Monex securities reserves the right to change these terms and conditions from time to time, as it sees fit, without notice.

Important Notice
iOS & Android App - 12 International Markets & Over 70% Global Market Cap. $0 Brokerage On US Trades. Click Here!