Hammerson completes retail park exit with £330m sale to Canadian private equity player
Property giant Hammerson has confirmed that it has sold seven retail parks to private equity firm Brookfield in a £330m deal that completes the retail landlord’s exit from the struggling sector.
The £330m price tag represents an eight per cent discount to the 31 December book value of £357m, and the deal concludes Hammerson’s disposal of its retail park portfolio.
Along with the proceeds of Hammerson’s other recent disposals including Brent South Shopping Park, the deal will take the total value raised through disposals this year to £403m, at an average discount of six per cent.
The cash will be used to pay down debt after a difficult year for the group, which saw the pandemic wipe £2bn from the retail landlord’s property portfolio.
Rita-Rose Gagné, chief executive of Hammerson, said: “As highlighted at the full year results, our immediate priority is to strengthen the balance sheet.
“This latest disposal is a positive step. Alongside this, we continue to focus on delivering operationally. We have successfully welcomed back our customers in England to our flagship venues, with footfall levels well above the June 2020 reopening, and look forward to reopening our other destinations as local restrictions allow over the coming months.”
The seven sites sold to Canadian firm Brookfield today include retail parks in Falkirk, Didcot, Middlesbrough, St Helens, Telford, Merthyr Tydfil and Rugby. The deal is expected to complete next month.
Hammeron, which owns Birmingham’s Bulling Shopping Centre, posted a £1.7bn loss for its 2020 financial year, with its portfolio value at the end of 2020 down by nearly 36 per cent from 2019.
The retail sector has been significantly impacted by restrictions imposed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in a large fall in net rental incomes at Hammerson.
Hammerson and Brookfield have been contacted for comment.