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LONDON-Multiplex has agreed to transfer its remaining interests in the two-million-sf White City, the UK’s largest retail development, creating a clear path for rival Westfield, for an undisclosed sum. The move effectively cuts Multiplex’s UK development pipeline by nearly a quarter to A$7 billion ($5.4 billion).

The transfer of all responsibility for the delivery of the project, including control over design and building work, is effective today. The euro 2.2-billion ($2.8-billion) White City was facing escalating costs and delays after new owner Westfield decided on major structural changes.

Multiplex is already facing delays and added costs on its other high-profile UK development–the construction of the national football stadium at Wembley. New delays announced this month mean final completion could be as much as two years late.

Problems with Wembley appear to have contributed to a shift in business strategy at Multiplex. Chief executive Andrew Roberts says stadiums like Wembley did not fit into the company’s business model, which now focused more on commercial and residential developments as well as funds management. “Wembley’s been a great disappointment to us financially and that is disappointing to all,” he states. “In terms of stadium projects generally, they don’t really fit into an integrated business model.”

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