Hammerson disposes of retail parks portfolio in £330m deal

Hammerson has offloaded its retail parks portfolio, which includes two West Midlands sites, in a £330m deal.

The property firm has exchanged unconditional contracts on the portfolio sale of its seven retail park assets to Brookfield for £330m cash proceeds, representing an 8% discount to the 31 December 2020 book value of £357m.

The transaction, which sees the sale of Elliott’s Field Shopping Park in Rugby, and Telford Forge Shopping Park, concludes Hammerson’s exit from the UK retail parks sector.

As previously announced, Hammerson has also recently disposed of Brent South Shopping Park (£22m at Hammerson share) and its minority interests in Nicetoile and Espace Saint Quentin for £73m.

The transaction announced today takes the total gross proceeds of Hammerson’s disposals in 2021 to £403m.

The proceeds of these disposals will further strengthen the balance sheet, reducing net debt, which was £2.2bn at 31 December 2020, and increasing liquidity, which stood at £1.7bn at the same date.

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.”
Other retail parks included in the deal:
·     Central Retail Park (Falkirk)
·     Cleveland Retail Park (Middlesbrough)
·     Cyfarthfa Retail Park (Merthyr Tydfil)
·     Ravenhead Retail Park (St Helens)
·     The Orchard Centre (Didcot)