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Hammerson CEO candidate exits after fundraising £800m

Sadiyah Ismailjee
03 September 2020

The leading internal candidate to run Hammerson has resigned, just days after it raised almost £800m to strengthen its finances.

Simon Betty first joined shopping centre owner in 2006, and is set to resign to take up a new job at a European company, Sky News reported.

His decision to step down all-but rules out the prospect of Hammerson promoting a successor to David Atkins, its veteran chief executive, from within.

Earlier this year, Hammerson said that Atkins would leave no later than next spring, following a tough and challenging period for the company due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This week, the retail landlord confirmed that it had raised £550m from an emergency rights issue and another large figure from the sale of a portfolio of European shopping malls.

The company now faces increased pressure to appoint a new chief executive with the former chief executive of Land Securities Rob Noel, due to take over as chairman next week.

Hammerson's shares have fallen by more than 70% during the past year. The business recently collected only 16% of the rent it was owed by retail tenants ahead of the third quarter.

 

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