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British shopping mall owner Hammerson has made a recommended £3.4bn offer for smaller rival Intu in a deal that would bring the ownership of London’s Brent Cross, the Birmingham Bullring (pictured) and Manchester’s Trafford Centre into one group.

Hammerson – which owns Brent Cross and the Bullring along with Cabot Circus in Bristol as well as properties in Ireland and France – said the takeover of Trafford Centre owner Intu would create a £21bn portfolio of retail and leisure properties.

Against a backdrop of weak growth in British retail sales driven by consumer caution, Hammerson pledged that if its all-share offer is accepted, the combined company will sell £2bn of assets to strengthen its balance sheet.

Hammerson said it had already received irrevocable undertakings or letters of intent from Intu shareholders representing 50.6 per cent of shares.

The offer represents a value of 253.9p per Intu share, which is a 27 premium on its closing price on December 5 and a 19.2 per cent premium on Intu’s average share price over the last three months.

The proposed deal involves the larger company keeping the Hammerson name, while it will be run by Hammerson chairman David Tyler and chief executive David Atkins.

Mr Atkins said:

This marks an exciting milestone in the history of Hammerson. 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.

(Image: Bloomberg)

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