Friday 21 February 2020 8:25 am

Hammerson sells seven retail parks to Orion for £400m

Hammerson has sold seven retail parks to Orion’s European real estate fund for £400m, the largest sale of its kind in the UK for a decade.

The parks are dotted around the country in places such as Didcot, Falkirk, Rugby and Telford.

Read more: Hammerson continues retail property disposal with £54m sale

The deal, which is expected to raise proceeds of £395m, takes the total sum of Hammerson’s disposals since the beginning of last year to £975m.

In a separate transaction, Hammerson also said it had sold retail parks in Swansea and Belfast for the combined total of £55m.

Total sales today represent a net initial yield of 8.7 per cent, with a discount to a June 2019 book value of 22.2 per cent.

Shares in the firm rose nearly three per cent as markets opened.

Sign up to City A.M.’s Midday Update newsletter, delivered to your inbox every lunchtime

Since 2018 the property development firm has been in the process of exiting the retail parks sector to focus instead on a portfolio of flagship assets.

The company has sold 14 retail parks in that period, generating sales proceeds of £764m to reduce the Group’s debt and further strengthen the balance sheet. 

Hammerson has a stake in just one final retail park, in London’s Brent Cross, which is also up for sale.

Read more: Intu seeks to raise boss’s bonus amid financial troubles

David Atkins, Hammerson’s chief executive, said: “Against a challenged retail and investment backdrop we have exited the retail parks sector.

“Having achieved disposals of close to £1bn since the beginning of 2019, our focus remains on strengthening our balance sheet to create further resilience.

Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills acted on behalf of the property firm, assisted by Eversheds Sutherland, Dentons, Addleshaw Goddard and CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang.