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Acquisition of Highcross by Hammerson set to launch new European outlet venture

Hammerson has signed contacts to obtain the remaining 40% share of Highcross.
Resulting 100% ownership of this major shopping center in Leicester and have committed capital to a new outlet venture with partners, Meyer Bergman, APG and Value Retail.

The investments, worth a total of £280m, strengthens Hammerson’s portfolio and falls in line with the company’s strategic development schemes. Hammerson has obtained 40% of Highcross in Leicester, from its JV partner, at a cost of £180m, inclusive of purchase costs.  The 105600m² center contains 114 stores, three department stores and the dining section in St Peter’s Square, which includes a 12-screen Cinema de Lux.

Hammerson is the only listed REIT in the UK to have exposure to the outlet shopping center market and today announced an additional investment of £100m.  There has been increasing demand from investors in the outlet village market due to the consistent delivery of double digit growth. The increase in global tourism supports the outlet village market, with visits to Europe from Chinese tourists due to grow 72% by 2018.  Along with this, luxury retail brands are expanding and this has resulted in growth. 

The company has made the decision to invest £70m into VIA Outlets, which is a large new venture aiming to acquire existing European outlet centers with potential for growth.  The other partners in VIA beside Hammerson, are Meyer Bergman, APG and Value Retail.

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