Shares in Australia’s Westfield rise 15 percent after $16 billion Unibail bid

SYDNEY – Shares of Australian shopping mall giant Westfield Corp rose as much as 15 percent on Wednesday, their biggest single-day gain, after the company said it would accept a $16 billion takeover offer from France’s Unibail-Rodamco SE .

The shares hit a high of A$9.77 after coming out of a trading halt at 0000 GMT before easing to A$9.73, up 14.5 percent, while the broader market was up 0.1 percent.

That was below Unibail-Rodamco’s offer of A$10.01, reflecting risks that Australia’s biggest company takeover on record may encounter regulatory challenges.

Shares of Scentre Group , which Westfield spun off in 2014 to hold its Australian shopping centers while Westfield kept the U.S. and British assets, were up 1.1 percent, on top of the previous day’s 4 percent rally amid speculation about the Westfield deal.

The private companies of Westfield Chairman Frank Lowy own about 5 percent of Scentre, according to Thomson data.

In French trading overnight, shares of Unibail-Rodamco fell 4 percent with analysts at Kepler Cheuvreux saying the deal looked expensive.

($1 = 1.3229 Australian dollars)