U.K. retail developer Hammerson is to buy retail and entertainment landlord Intu Properties through a £3.4 billion (nearly $4.6 billion) deal that will create a $28.2 billion European REIT. The new company, called Hammerson plc, will own retail and leisure properties across Europe.
“The financial strength of the enlarged group and its strong leadersjhip team will make it well placed to take advantage of higher growth opportunities on a pan-European scale,” said David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, in a prepared statement.
David Tyler, chairman of Hammerson, will become chairman of the board of the enlarged group. John Whittaker, deputy chairman of Intu, will be named deputy chairman of Hammerson. Atkins will keep his CEO title at the new company.
“A combination of both Intu and Hammerson will create a more resilient, diversified and stronger gropu that we believe will benefit all our stakeholders,” said John Strachan, chairman of Intu and proposed senior independent director of the new company, in a company statement. “Intu offers high-quality retail and leisure destinations in the U.K. and Spain, which when merged with Hammerson’s own top-quality assets in the U.K., in France and in Ireland, present a highly attractive proposition for retailers and shoppers in Europe’s leading cities.”
The company says it expects to dispose of about $2.7 billion of U.K. assets, and reinvestment the proceeds in property in Ireland and Spain, considered two of Europe’s faster-growing countries.
By Edmund Mander