Hammerson share price: Group’s JV acquires leasehold to Croydon mall

on Mar 26, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Real estate investment trust (REIT) Hammerson Plc’s (LON:HMSO) joint venture with Australia-based Westfield Corp., the Croydon Partnership, yesterday announced the acquisition of a 50 percent long leasehold interest in the Whitgift Centre from the Whitgift Trust for an undisclosed figure.

As of 12:09 GMT, Hammerson shares were trading at 670.50p, down 1.83 percent on the day, underperforming the blue-chip FTSE 100 index which is currently 1.30 percent lower at 6,899.92 points. The REIT’s stock has climbed over 11 percent since the turn of the year.
The Whitgift acquisition, which was announced on the Hammerson’s website, will give the joint venture ownership of the shopping centre, alongside its freehold owner, the Whitgift Foundation, and direct management control. According to the release from Hammerson, the charity has given its full support for the Partnership’s £1 billion project to redevelop the town’s retail center.
Peter Cole, chief investment officer at the FTSE-listed group wrote as part of the release that the acquisition “represents a significant step forward in our plans to redevelop Croydon’s retail centre […] We can now take an active role in the management of the centre prior to the start of physical redevelopment, which is enormously beneficial to the whole process.”
Hammerson said the joint-venture now owns or is in control of all the key land interest necessary for the proposed redevelopment. The Partnership will now take up all managerial responsibilities for the shopping center in the future. Local paper the Croydon advertiser wrote in an article from earlier this week that the Partnership expects that it will need to wait until autumn before an official ruling comes out as to whether it will be given the go ahead for its redevelopment plan.
The newspaper cited a representative for the joint venture as saying: “We expect the inspector’s report to sit with the Government for some time and we believe it is likely to [be] the autumn before we know.” Factors that are expected to have an impact on the timing of the ruling include the outcome of the General Election and Parliament’s summer recess.
As of 13:19 GMT, Thursday, 26 March, Hammerson plc share price is 670.25p.

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