Hammerson is to inject its £1.1-billion ($2-billion) French portfolio into a Societe d´Investissements Immobiliers Cotees, the French equivalent of a Real Estate Investment Trust. The move is likely to increase pressure for the UK government to introduce REIT-style vehicles in the UK, possibly as soon as this month’s budget statement.
As a first step the company has applied for a listing on the Premier Marche of Euronext, the Paris bourse. The move follows legislation passed in France at the end of 2002, which permits real estate companies listed in France to elect into the new tax exempt regime.
Hammerson chairman Ron Spinney says the company´s French business--which now accounts for nearly 30% of the total portfolio