Hammerson has exchanged contracts to acquire the remaining 40% of Highcross, securing 100% ownership of Leicester’s major shopping center and committed capital to a new outlet center venture with its partners Value Retail, APG and Meyer Bergman.
The investments totalling £280 million (€357 mln) significantly strengthen Hammerson’s portfolio, increasing scale in both prime retail destinations and outlets centers, alongside the Company’s focus on its strategic development schemes and retail parks which are a key element of Hammerson’s growth strategy.
Hammerson has acquired 40% of Highcross, Leicester for £180 million (€230 mln) (including purchase costs) from its JV partner¹. The 105,600 m² center comprises three department stores, 114 stores and the St Peter’s Square dining quarter which features a 12-screen Cinema de Lux.
Hammerson is the only UK listed REIT to have strategic exposure to the outlet shopping center sector and today it is announcing a further investment of £100 million (€127 mln). The outlet village market has seen increasing demand from investors due to its consistent delivery of double-digit organic growth.
The outlet village proposition is supported by the increase in global tourism, with Chinese visits to Europe set to grow 72% by 2018², alongside the expansion of luxury retail brands generating increased merchandise.
Hammerson is investing £70 million (€89 mln) into VIA Outlets, a major new venture that will aim to acquire existing European outlet centers with growth potential. Alongside Hammerson, the other partners in VIA Outlets are Value Retail, APG and Meyer Bergman.