Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Merry Hill owner is bought in £3.4bn deal

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Hammerson's properties include the Bullring in Birmingham Comment icon Hammerson's properties include the Bullring in Birmingham
Preston Stone | 07 December, 2017, 07:09

Broadmarsh and Victoria Shopping Centre owners Intu have been taken over by Hammerson in a £3.4 billion deal.

Hammerson has agreed to acquire fellow retail property giant Intu in an all-share deal that would create a company with assets of more than £21bn.

Hammerson has reached an all share agreement for Intu Properties, which runs Gateshead's MetroCentre and Newcastle's Eldon Square.

David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, said: "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".

Upon completion, Hammerson is hoping to tap into new, high-value markets such as those in growing economies like Ireland and Spain, while using extra cash to expand its Premium Outlets platform.

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"When merged with Hammerson's top-quality assets in the United Kingdom, in France and in Ireland, it presents a highly attractive proposition for retailers and shoppers".

The enlarged group will retain the Hammerson name, and dominate with a 55% shareholder stake in the enlarged business. Shareholders will vote on the deal next year.

The combined group, which will be called Hammerson, will be led by Hammerson boss David Atkins and chaired by David Tyler.

Russ Mould, AJ Bell investment director, described Hammerson's takeover of Intu as "dramatic, given how terribly Intu's shares have down this year, amid fears over not just what Brexit may do to consumer confidence but also the fate of bricks-and-mortar retailers at the hands of Amazon and other online rivals".

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