With the French retail shopping centre company Klepierre walking away from its £5bn attempt to buy Hammerson, its shares rose 4.3%, but Hammerson’s dropped 13% to 452.7p.
Bloomberg (13 April) reports that three of the top 15 shareholders of Hammerson doubt the merits of the plan to buy rival Intu Properties for about 3.5 billion pounds.
‘Hammerson’s management must show that an acquisition of Intu would generate greater value for investors than what they would have received from accepting Klepierre’s offer, a representative of the top-15 shareholder said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.’
‘APG Asset Management, Hammerson’s third-largest shareholder, said it would vote against the Intu purchase, citing the pressures on the U.K. retail industry and increased financial leverage. APG is a partner with Hammerson in Value Retail outlet malls.’
‘A spokeswoman for London-based Hammerson declined to comment.’
‘Shopping-mall owners are combining as they try to cut costs and focus on premium properties, making them more attractive to retailers that are opening fewer stores as internet sales rise.’
Reuters (13 April) reports that if the French take-over had gone ahead it ‘would have come as part of a wave of consolidation in the malls sector, as retailers grapple with competition from online rivals such as Amazon. ….. British retailers have been suffering as inflation-hit British consumers cut back on spending, making many investors wary of the sector.’
What this all means for the Westfield shopping centre development partnership between Hammerson and Westfield remains to be seen.