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Hammerson keeps £21m deposit after retail parks sale falls through

Tom Shearsmith
06 May 2020

Orion European Real Estate Fund has walked away from a deal to buy £400 million of Hammerson’s retail park portfolio.

Last month Hammerson confirmed that the prospective buyer had 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.

new deadline was set for 6 May 2020 and, as the funds were not received, Hammerson will now terminate the agreement.

The termination of the agreement allows Hammerson to take the £21 million deposit held in escrow.

So far, Hammerson has sold 14 retail parks, generating £764 million.

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.

In March, Hammerson revealed that almost two thirds of the rent due on quarterly rent day last week did not materialise as shops around the country had been forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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