Hammerson told investors that it is in discussions with Canadian private equity firm Brookfield over the potential sale.
The property owner has confirmed that it is in talks over a deal to sell its portfolio of UK retail parks. The update comes after the Sunday Times reported that Brookfield will pay about £350m for seven retail parks, in Falkirk, Didcot, Middlesbrough, St Helens, Telford, Merthyr Tydfil and Rugby.
Hammerson also operates the Birmingham Bullring and the Bicester Village outlet mall.
The company has told investors that it is in discussions with Brookfield over the potential sale but there is no certainty that a transaction will take place. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Hammerson added: “The company will provide a further update in due course, if appropriate.”
The retail property specialist recently wrote down the value of its shopping centres and stores by nearly £2b, as Covid-19 saw rental income suffer the biggest fall in its history. Last month, Hammerson said its properties were worth £6.34b at the end of 2020 compared with £8.33b a year earlier. Now, the company says it is continuing to dispose of some of its assets in an effort to further strengthen the balance sheet.
The sale talks are taking place despite Hammerson’s retail parks trading robustly compared to other areas of its estate during the pandemic, as they benefit from large supermarket sites and wide open spaces.