Hammerson steps back from acquisition of Intu
Hammerson has decided that its proposed acquisition of the Intu shopping centre chain is no longer in the best interests of its shareholders.
The company said the reasons behind the decision included a softening of the financial strength of UK retailers and other tenants in recent months as it highlighted the number of administrations and CVAs in the sector. It also referred to a deterioration in the equity market’s perception of the broader UK retail property market since the start of the year.
Hammerson said: “Whilst Hammerson has proven its portfolio is well positioned to weather the current environment, the equity market now perceives a heightened level of risk associated with the UK retail property sector as a whole.
“It is also apparent from extensive engagement with shareholders, in particular in recent weeks, that there is a wide range of views on the merits of the Intu acquisition.
“As a result, the board of Hammerson has concluded that the heightened risks associated with the Intu acquisition outweigh the long-term rewards that can be expected in comparison to other strategic options open to the company.”
Hammerson said it would now be reviewing options to accelerate the delivery of value for shareholders. Actions could include making some disposals and seeking out opportunities to invest in higher-growth segments such as premium outlets and Ireland.
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