Hammerson sells Fife retail park as part of £164m disposal

Property heavyweight Hammerson is poised to deliver further news on the restructuring of its vast portfolio after it announced the disposal of two retail parks, including one in Scotland, for £164 million.

Part of the Fife Central site, which was acquired by Hammerson in 2005. Picture: Contributed

The group said that it had exchanged contracts for both the Fife Central Retail Park in Kirkcaldy and Imperial Retail Park in Bristol, which are being sold to Capreon.

Fife Central was acquired by Hammerson, which also owns Aberdeen’s Union Square shopping and leisure complex, in 2005. It covers a total of 30,200 square metres, is 95 per cent let and anchored by B&Q, Sainsbury’s, M&S Simply Food and Next.

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Hammerson said it had been actively managing the scheme during its ownership, delivering an extension and implementing “key asset management initiatives”, including repurposing space formerly occupied by Homebase to create a further four retail units and two restaurants.

The Bristol site is of a similar scale and was acquired by the group in 2012. It is anchored by B&Q, The Range, HomeSense, M&S Foodhall, Next and Boots, and is currently 97 per cent let.

The twin deals bring Hammerson’s total proceeds from disposals this year to £300m.

Chief executive David Atkins said there was more news to come during the company’s half-year results, which are due to be released tomorrow.

He told investors: “We continue to see opportunities to dispose of selected assets in order to better deploy capital on behalf of our shareholders.

“With £300m of sales achieved this year, we are already over half-way to reaching our planned disposal target for 2018.

“We look forward to providing a further update on disposals and capital deployment when we report our half-year results.”

The firm is tipped to unveil a new strategic plan that is meant to address shareholder anger after the company ditched plans to buy its rival Intu, which operates Braehead, Glasgow.

The deal with Intu was set to create Britain’s biggest property company, with some £21 billion worth of assets across Europe.

Hammerson and Intu officially called off the potential £3.4bn deal in late April after the former withdrew a recommendation for shareholders to vote through the acquisition.