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Westfield maps out OneMarket plans in demerger document

Shopping centre group Westfield has provided shareholders with comprehensive information about its OneMarket technology arm, which is set to be spun off as a separate entity if the proposed takeover by Unibail Rodamco gets the green light.

Investors are preparing to vote on the acquisition and the accompanying demerger, with Westfield board members urging them to back both plans.

In a dedicated “Demerger Document”, Westfield revealed that the standalone OneMarket business – which operates data-led retail technology solutions and aims to help physical retailers compete with digital players such as Amazon – will start life in its new guise with no debt and A$160 million in cash. It plans to list on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Assuming the demerger is given the go-ahead, it will be 90% owned by existing shareholders, with 10% held by Unibail. Existing customers of OneMarket were named as Westfield, Unibail and US department store chain Nordstrom – the latter uses the tech firm’s Shopper Exchange and Live Receipts products.

OneMarket’s products are focused on allowing competitive retailers to access shared data, rather than what the company describes as finding the “nearly impossible” level of technology investment to compete individually with the likes of Amazon.

It said it is in the process of developing its platform and building new solutions. OneMarket currently offers the Shopper Exchange, Intelligent Parking Technology and Live Receipts products – and this year it expects to add Shopper Intelligence to that list. More details of the products can be found in Section 4 of the Demerger Document.

As part of the literature, Westfield listed various risks related to supporting the demerger, highlighting that as a start-up there is no guarantee of success.

However, it said OneMarket was in active discussions with leading retailers in the US and UK, including department stores, mass merchandisers and speciality retailers, to become participants in the OneMarket network and to purchase one or more of the business's products.

In addition, it revealed that the proposed standalone company “maintains revenue-generating relationships with retailers for products that were initially brought into the OneMarket product family through OneMarket’s acquisitions”, which include digital receipts firm Yocuda, formerly known as e-Receipts.

Approximately 23 UK retailers currently subscribe to OneMarket’s digital receipts product, thanks to the acquisition activity.

The new OneMarket business will have Steven Lowy as chairman and Don Kingsborough as CEO.

Frank Lowy, current Westfield chairman, said: “OneMarket’s strategy is to develop a retail technology network that seeks to help bricks-and-mortar retailers compete more effectively in the evolving retail environment.

“OneMarket plans to do this by using its proposed network to develop product solutions which bring together retailers, shopping venues, brands and technology companies (collectively referred to as “network participants”). The objective of the OneMarket network is to rapidly implement new technologies at scale, to facilitate collaboration in the retail industry and to leverage a comprehensive set of consumer data to provide network participants with insights and intelligence regarding their consumers and the products they browse and buy.”

RBTE takes place at London’s Olympia, 2-3 May 2018.

You can register to attend here