Hammerson and Allianz buy £1.4bn Irish shopping mall loans portfolio

Kasmira Jefford
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Hammerson has made a major foray into the Irish property market after buying a portfolio of loans secured against some of the country’s biggest shopping centres for €1.85bn (£1.37bn).

The property giant and its joint venture partner Allianz Real Estate said yesterday they have signed an agreement with Ireland’s National Management Agency (Nama) to buy Project Jewel, in one of the so-called bad bank’s biggest loan portfolios disposals to date.

The loan portfolio is secured against retail assets, including Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin, Ireland’s biggest shopping centre with more than 120 shops, 38 restaurants and over 1.5m square feet of space.

Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said Ireland’s growing econ­omy made it an opportune time to be expanding into the country, where it already owns two retail properties.

“The Irish economy is now the fastest growing in Europe and retail sales are growing rapidly on the back of strong employment growth and rising disposable income. That is leading to greater retailer confidence and demand for space, which in turn is driving rents,” he told City A.M..