Hammerson sells

Hammerson has sold the long leasehold interest in three Euston office buildings to Ancient Mariner Properties, a subsidiary of Scarborough Group, for £124m.

Ancient Mariner is buying the Euston Square Estate, which comprises the 116,000 sq ft 40 Melton Street, occupied by Network Rail until 2012 with a forthcoming break option; the 120,000 sq ft 1 Eversholt Street, let to three tenants on eight leases; and the 70,000 sq ft Grant Thornton House, let to Grant Thornton until 2075, although the tenant is looking to break its lease.

The three buildings generated a net rental income of £8.6m during 2004.

Ancient Mariner is thought to have beaten rival bidders including Hines, Delancey, and joint ventures between Golfrate and Allied London Properties and Development Securities with GMAC.

The site forms an integral part of Network Rail’s proposed redevelopment of 15 acres of land behind Euston Station, thought to centre around a Broadgate-style office complex.

Last year, Hammerson had agreed to sell 40 Melton Street and Grant Thornton House to Fordgate, in a £122m deal also including the sale of 21 Moorfields, EC2. However, relations between the two companies collapsed into acrimony when Fordgate failed to complete the deal.

Lambert Smith Hampton acted for the purchaser. Hammerson was represented by CB Richard Ellis.

Hammerson said today that it was continuing to invest both in the development programme and selective acquisitions.

In a statement issued at the Hammerson’s AGM today, Chairman Ronald Spinney said that the company had a 'sound balance sheet' and the necessary resources to complete existing developments and advance new projects. “I have every confidence in Hammerson´s future prospects,' he said.

At the AGM, shareholders approved a final dividend of 11.71p per share to be paid on 13 May, making a total dividend for 2003 of 16.83p per share.

Source: Freeman / PR Wire

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