Bullring centre owner sold for £3.4bn

08 Décembre, 2017, 01:01 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • The market retreated in a quiet early session

For Hammerson, the deal would increase its dominance of large United Kingdom retail centres, add complementary Spanish assets, plus enhance earnings and net asset value.

Hammerson, which also owns the Bullring in Birmingham, has reached a deal with the shopping centre group, which also owns the Trafford Centre in Manchester, which Intu have said will create £21 billion pan-European portfolio - meaning they will be the largest United Kingdom group of this type. He said the deal would strengthen its portfolio and opportunities for growth, including in Spain and Ireland, two of Europe's fastest growing economies.

The group overall will have six directors nominated by Hammerson and four directors nominated by Intu.

"Bringing together the high-quality portfolios of both companies establishes Hammerson as a larger, leading European retail REIT, enhances shareholder returns and supports opportunities for long-term growth".

"The proposed deal will net the group a stake in nearly 60% of all United Kingdom supermall space, making it a force in the retail landscape, well placed to benefit from retail spend shifting across locations". Intu also operates the Trafford Centre in Manchester while Hammerson owns Bicester Village and Brent Cross shopping centre.

Hammerson also faces the risk an worldwide third party could show interest in making a bid for Intu, the broker said.

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John Strachan, chairman of Intu, said: "Intu offers high-quality retail and leisure destinations in the United Kingdom and Spain, which, when merged with Hammerson's own top-quality assets in the United Kingdom, in France and in Ireland, present a highly attractive proposition for retailers and shoppers in Europe's leading cities".

The broker thinks it is a "sensible combination" and estimated cost savings from the deal should add about 5% to pre-tax profits of the merged group.

"This marks an exciting milestone in the history of Hammerson".

They agreed on "the terms of a recommended all-share offer by Hammerson to acquire the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of Intu", they said in a joint statement. Intu's deputy chairman John Whittaker will be given the same role in the enlarged company, while its chairman John Strachan will join the board as senior non-executive director.

The combined group will be led by Hammerson chief executive David Atkins and Timon Drakesmith, the firm's chief financial officer, and will be called Hammerson plc.

"Hammerson is one of our preferred United Kingdom retail real estate investment trusts, but this is primarily due to its European diversification, and we continue to remain cautious on the short-and medium-term outlook for the United Kingdom", said Elston.

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