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Brookfield buys UK retail parks from Hammerson at 8% discount

Brookfield has bought £330m (€381m) worth of UK retail park assets from Hammerson.  
Last week, Hammerson confirmed it was in talks with the Canadian private equity firm regarding the possible sale of the retail parks portfolio.
Hammerso…

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Brookfield has bought GBP330m (EUR381m) worth of UK retail park assets from Hammerson.   Last week, Hammerson confirmed it was in talks with the Canadian private equity firm regarding the possible sale of the retail parks portfolio. Hammerson said today it has agreed to sell the seven retail park assets for GBP330m, representing an 8% discount to the 31 December 2020 book value of GBP357m.

The assets include Central Retail Park in Falkirk, Cleveland Retail Park in Middlesbrough, Cyfarthfa Retail Park in Merthyr Tydfil and Rugby's Elliott's Field Shopping Park. The rest are the Telford Forge Shopping Park, Ravenhead Retail Park in St Helens and The Orchard Centre in Didcot. Hammerson, which seeks to reduce reliance on department stores and enhance the retail mix, said the latest disposal concludes its exit from the UK retail parks sector.

The latest deal takes the total gross proceeds of Hammerson's disposals in 2021 to GBP403m at an average discount to 31 December 2020 valuations of 6%. The London-listed company said the proceeds of these disposals will further strengthen the balance sheet, reducing net debt, which was GBP2.2bn at 31 December 2020, and increasing liquidity, which stood at GBP1.7bn at the same date. Rita-Rose Gagne, CEO 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."

To read the digital edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.