finance

Hammerson sells off all its UK retail parks for £330m



Hammerson has sold off all seven of its UK retail parks to Canadian private equity firm Brookfield for £330m.

The company said the deal represented an 8% discount on a December valuation of its portfolio at £357m and “concluded the firm’s exit” from the UK retail park sector.

Hammerson said cash from sale would help strengthen its balance sheet and reduce net debt, which was £2.2bn at the end of last year.

It confirmed it was talks with Brookfield last week. The deal includes Central Retail Park in Falkirk.

The transaction takes the total gross proceeds of Hammerson’s disposals in 2021 to £403m, at an average discount to 31 December valuations of 6%.

Completion of the transaction is expected by the end of May.

Rita-Rose Gagné, chief executive of Hammerson, said: “As highlighted at the full year results, our immediate priority is to strengthen the balance sheet.

“Alongside this, we continue to focus on delivering operationally,” she continued, adding that as it welcomes customers back into venues in England, footfall levels have been above the June 2020 reopening.

The group, which also owns a number of UK shopping centres such as Union Square in Aberdeen, recently revealed it had collected less than half the rent it was due in the second quarter, despite retail restrictions easing.

Hammerson UK retail parks sold:

  • Central Retail Park (Falkirk)
  • Cleveland Retail Park (Middlesbrough)
  • Cyfarthfa Retail Park (Merthyr Tydfil)
  • Elliott’s Field Shopping Park (Rugby)
  • Telford Forge Shopping Park (Telford)
  • Ravenhead Retail Park (St Helens)
  • The Orchard Centre (Didcot)
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Central Retail Park is anchored by a Tesco Superstore and comprises 27 units let to retailers including TK Maxx, Next, Sports Direct, Boots, Dunelm and Nando’s. In 2016, M&S Simply Food opened a 2,300 sq m store.

The retail park also has a Cineworld Cinema and Bannatynes Health Club.

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