Telford's Forge Retail Park to be sold in £330 million deal

The owner of Telford's Forge Retail Park has agreed to sell all of its retail parks to Canadian investor Brookfield.

Telford's Forge Retail Park
Telford's Forge Retail Park

It means that Birmingham Bullring owner Hammerson has completed its exit from UK retail parks.

The £330 million deal is eight per cent less than the book value of the portfolio of seven retail parks at the end of last year.

Together with other recent sales, it takes Hammerson's gross proceeds from the disposals to £403 million so far this year, at an average six per cent discount to the December 31, 2020 valuations.

The money will be used to reduce Hammerson's £2.2 billion debt pile, among other things.

Hammerson first confirmed it was in talks with Brookfield over the deal last week.

Chief executive Rita-Rose Gagne said: "As highlighted at the full-year results, our immediate priority is to strengthen the balance sheet. This latest disposal is a positive step.

"Alongside this, we continue to focus on delivering operationally. We have successfully welcomed back our customers in England to our flagship venues, with footfall levels well above the June 2020 reopening, and look forward to reopening our other destinations as local restrictions allow over the coming months."

The group, which also owns a number of other UK shopping centres such as Bristol's Cabot Circus, revealed on Tuesday it had collected less than half the rent it was due in the second quarter despite retail restrictions easing.

But the firm said a rise in shopper numbers across England was encouraging since the reopening of non-essential stores on April 12, with around 90 per cent of operators able to trade and footfall at its sites “competitive with pre-pandemic levels”.

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