VIA Outlets – the fast-growing owner-operator of premium outlet shopping destinations in Europe has confirmed that both Hammerson and APG have each increased their ownership in the business by over 3% (6.25% combined), and now each owns a 50% stake in the €1.6bn premium outlet business. Hammerson and APG have purchased the balance of shares for €32m each at a slight premium to June 2019 NAV from former operating partners Value Retail and Meyer Bergman.
Otto Ambagtsheer, CEO, commented: “APG and Hammerson have long-standing interests in the premium outlet sector and their additional investment enables us to turn VIA Outlets into a self-managed and independent operating organisation. This will ensure the outstanding performance at VIA Outlets is maintained, enabling us to continue to substantially outperform the wider retail market. We would like to thank Value Retail and Meyer Bergman for their notable support. Their expertise has been instrumental in establishing and growing our portfolio of high-performing outlet destinations to where we are today. We are excited about the next phase of the business and the opportunity ahead of us.”
David Atkins, CEO of Hammerson, said: “Our investment in VIA Outlets is a major differentiator for Hammerson as this is a sector which continues to deliver value creation, as well as significant growth in brand sales and footfall. The management team at VIA Outlets has a clear strategy to attract new brands and deliver further extensions which will capitalise on the increased spending we are seeing in the market, and the low online penetration in this sector. This transaction also streamlines the ownership structure of VIA Outlets, and enhances the governance of this strategically important business unit.”
Robert Jan Foortse, Head of Private Real Estate at APG said: “This transaction marks the beginning of the next phase of VIA Outlets, a business that we have started 5 years ago. We and Hammerson are very grateful for all the support that Value Retail and Meyer Bergman have provided to VIA Outlets over the past period, which has been instrumental to the success that VIA Outlets has become. Going forward we are excited to work with the management team, headed by Otto Ambagtsheer, to further grow the sales generated by the brands in the Fashion Outlets owned by VIA Outlets.”