Hammerson buys four retail parks

Hammerson, the property company that has spent much of the year selling off its offices, continues to recycle the cash into shopping centres with the acquisition The Junction Unit Trust.

Hammerson, the property company that has spent much of the year selling off its offices, continues to recycle the cash into shopping centres with the acquisition The Junction Unit Trust.

The group has paid £254.5m for the trust, which owns four prominent retail parks in strong catchment areas: Thurrock Shopping Park (next to the Lakeside centre); Forge Shopping Park, Telford; Imperial Retail Park, Bristol; Abbotsinch Retail Park, Glasgow.

The average lease length of tenants in the parks is 11 years, with average current rents of around £18 per square foot.

Hammerson said there is a high proportion (68%) of open A1 consent units, which will allow the company to increase underlying rents through asset management.

The yield on the purchase price is 7%. The portfolio was valued at £267m at September 30th.

The group said the acquisition enhances forecast earnings per share by over 1p, or about 5%, from 2013.

"There is continued strong consumer demand for the ease and convenience of retail parks, and that consumer demand is being reflected in the increasing requirements of a range of fashion and catering retailers for space in retail parks," said David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson.

"This portfolio acquisition on attractive terms enhances our income profile and will be actively managed to grow rents and capitalise on development opportunities, maximising returns for shareholders," he added.

JH

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