Hammerson in talks to sell Falkirk retail park

Hammerson in talks to sell Falkirk retail park

Commercial landlord Hammerson has confirmed it is in talks with private equity firm Brookfield to sell seven of its UK retail sites, including Falkirk retail park, in an attempt to safeguard its finances.

Alongside Falkirk’s Central Retail Park, the portfolio comprises commercial units in Didcot, Middlesbrough, St Helens, Telford, Merthyr Tydfil and Rugby, with a valuation of around £350 million expected.

The deal with Brookfield is believed to be £50m less than a planned sale of the same portfolio to European investment firm Orion Capital Managers last year which did not come to fruition.

In trading update issued in response to news reports over the weekend, Hammerson said: “The company confirms that it is in discussions in terms of a possible disposal of its retail parks portfolio to Brookfield.

“There can be no certainty that a transaction will take place or the terms on which any transaction may occur.”

As retailers have struggled during the pandemic, Hammerson was only able to collect 64% of its rent due at retail parks last year, and 36% at its UK shopping centres.

The firm’s net rental value almost halved to £158m last year across its properties in the UK, Ireland and France.

This caused a write-down in its property values to £6.3bn at the end of 2020, from £8.3bn a year earlier, which led to the company recording a £1.7bn loss last year.

The commercial landlord has cut the valuation of its retail portfolio as it has been struggling under a £2.2 billion of debt after seeing rental income from stores located in its shopping centres plummet due to the pandemic.


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