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Buyer fails to complete Hammerson's £400m retail parks sale

Tom Shearsmith
24 April 2020

Hammerson has confirmed that prospective buyer, Orion Real Estate Fund, has notified the property developer that it will no longer seek to complete the acquisition of seven retail parks.

The two investors exchanged contracts in February to sell seven retail parks including the Forge Shopping Park in Telford and Didcot, near Oxford, for £400 million.

Hamerson, which also owns Birmingham's Bullring Shopping Centre, bought the Forge Shopping Park in 2012 as part of a £254.5m deal.

The transaction was scheduled to complete on Thursday, however Orion informed Hammerson it will not going ahead with it.

A new deadline will be set for 6 May 2020 and, if the funds are not received by then, Hammerson will be allowed to terminate the agreement and receive the £21 million deposit agreed.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Hammerson said: “Hammerson remains ready and able to comply with its completion obligations under the SPA, and is in dialogue with its counterparties at Orion.

"In accordance with the terms of the SPA, if Orion fails to complete on April 23 2020, Hammerson will serve a notice to complete on Orion specifying that completion must occur by no later than May 6 2020."

The sale of the retail parks is part of Hammerson’s current strategy to focus on its larger shopping centres and premium outlets, with the proceeds of the sale to be used to reduce Hammerson's debt, which is just under £3 billion.

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