Hammerson completes Victoria Leeds sale only week after talks confirmed
Hammerson has completed the super-quick disposal of its Victoria Gate and Victoria Quarter shopping centres in Leeds. Only last week, the UK property giant said it was still in early stages of negotiations.
But the sale of the ‘non-core assets’ has been pushed through now with Redical Holdings paying £120 million in cash.
Hammerson said the sale price is in line with the 30 June 2021 book value, which represented a net initial yield of 7.4%, adding the proceeds will be used to reduce net debt.
The assets comprise the 19,400 sq m Victoria Quarter shopping gallery, the 37,600 sq m Victoria Gate shopping centre, and the inter-linking Wrays Buildings.
Victoria Gate was described as a “game-changer” for the city when Hammerson opened the £165 million complex in 2016. It's anchored by John Lewis and includes fashion brands Ted Baker, Paul Smith, Kurt Geiger and beauty brands Space NK, Kiehl’s, L’Occitane and Jo Malone.
It’s been reported that the deal for Victoria Leeds represents “a long-term investment in a unique asset” for Redical, and its focus will be on “maintaining the quality of the development”.
This latest sale reinforces Hammerson’s decision to shift its focus to prime urban estates through disposals of non-core assets.
The group, whose portfolio includes the Bullring and Grand Central shopping centres in Birmingham and the Bicester Village Designer Outlet in Oxfordshire, needs to strengthen the balance sheet after a punishing pandemic and subsequent lockdowns that hit the commercial property sector hard.
The latest move reinforces the announced sale (under the heading ‘disposal of non-core assets’) of its share in Silverburn, the 100,000 sq m shopping centre near Glasgow. The firm’s 50/50 joint venture was sold for £140 million in cash to Henderson Park and Eurofund.
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