Shopping Centres

Hammerson delays Intu takeover amid Klépierre approach

Hammerson has delayed it acquisition of British rival Intu while the intentions of French shopping centre giant Klépierre “remain unclear”.

In a trading update for Hammerson’s first quarter ending 31 March 2018, it said it does not intend to finalise shareholder documents in relation to the takeover of Intu while it awaits further clarity on the interest from Klépierre .

Hammerson initially rejected a £4.9bn approach from Klépierre within 24 hours last month in order to focus on its plans to buy smaller rival Intu for £3.4bn, which it announced in December.

Since the Klépierre’s interest was made known the company has reportedly been holding talks with Hammerson’s senior shareholders in an effort to acquire the firm despite the rapid rejection.

Hammerson also reported in its trading update that despite the recent struggles of UK retailers, high occupancy and continued good demand for its destination centres meant the impact of these retailers on the group’s profitability “is very limited”.

The company also said it had “strong leasing momentum” across the UK, France and Ireland following record activity in 2017 with £7m of group leases signed, significantly up on Q1 2017.

Hammerson’s total portfolio was valued at £10.58bn at the end of March, compared to £10.56b nat the end of last year, thanks to growth in Ireland.

David Atkins, chief executive said: “Our strategy and the positioning of our portfolio continue to deliver a strong operational performance. Our attractive high-growth markets of premium outlets and Ireland are driving valuation growth and we are on track with our disposal programme.

“Whilst we recognise the difficult trading environment and challenges felt by many retail and restaurant formats in the UK, there continues to be good demand for space across our centres. The Easter trading weekend again demonstrated that not all retail is equal with our centres delivering positive footfall growth of 5% compared to average reported Easter footfall across all shops of -2.4%.3

“The positive momentum of the business is a mark of the quality of our portfolio and the skill of our team which are delivering continued income growth and will drive future shareholder returns.”

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