Hammerson in exclusive talks to buy British malls worth £400m

PROPERTY firm Hammerson has entered exclusive talks to buy six shopping centres worth around £400m from Kuwaiti property company St Martins, a source familiar with the deal said yesterday.

Retail-focused Hammerson is the preferred bidder for malls including Centrale in Croydon and West 45 in Hammersmith, as well as several retail parks that includes Riverside in Chelmsford, having held discussions with St Martins over the last couple of weeks.

The talks are understood to be in the early stages, with no deal expected until the new year.

St Martins is owned by the Kuwaiti government and owns properties across the City including Investec’s offices on Gresham Street and London Bridge City, currently home to PwC, ED&F Man and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, according to its website.

St Martins is selling off a swathe of properties including industrial buildings, which have also attracted several interested parties. It is understood to be raising funds to help buy higher-profile properties.

Hammerson, St Martins Property and its adviser Savills all declined to comment.