Hammerson offloads 7 retail parks for 400 million pounds

British property group Hammerson has offloaded seven retail parks to
private equity firm Orion for 400 million pounds in an effort to cut its
debt.

The group, which owns Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham, said the
decision comes as part of its strategy to exit the retail parks sector over
the medium term “to create a focused portfolio of flagship assets, premium
outlets and City Quarters across major European cities.”

The sites included in the portfolio transaction are Central Retail Park
in Falkirk, Cleveland Retail Park in Middlesbrough, Cyfarthfa Retail Park
in Merthyr Tydfil, Elliott’s Field Shopping Park in Rugby, Forge Shopping
Park in Telford, Ravenhead Retail Park in St Helens, and The Orchard Centre
in Didcot.

Since July 2018, Hammerson has sold 14 retail parks, generating sales
proceeds of 764 million pounds to reduce its debt and strengthen its
balance sheet. It said it is also interested in selling one remaining
retail park, Brent South, which is part of the Brent Cross estate and is
held in a joint venture with Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Separately, the group said it sold Parc Tawe in Swansea and Abbey Retail
Park in Belfast individually, generating proceeds of 55 million pounds.

David Atkins, Hammerson’s chief executive, said in a statement: “Against
a challenged retail and investment backdrop we have exited the retail parks
sector. Having achieved disposals of close to 1 billion pounds since the
beginning of 2019, our focus remains on strengthening our balance sheet to
create further resilience. The completion of this strategic disposal
enables us to create a more concentrated portfolio of flagship venues,
premium outlets and City Quarters which we expect will deliver greater
levels of both income stability and growth over the medium term.”

Images: courtesy of Hammerson



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