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UK's Hammerson plans to raise 800 mln stg from rights issue, stake sale - Sky News

Sat, 1st Aug 2020 14:54

Aug 1 (Reuters) - Britain's Hammerson Plc plans to
raise some 800 million pounds ($1.1 billion) from a rights issue
and the sale of its 50% stake in VIA Outlets, Sky news reported
https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-bullring-owner-hammerson-plots-600m-rights-issue-12040451
on Saturday, as the mall operator tackles the fallout from
coronavirus lockdowns.

The pandemic has left retailers struggling to pay rents as
fewer customers visited stores, leading some, including major
high street names John Lewis and Debenhams, to shut stores.

The rights issue alone could fetch Hammerson about 600
million pounds, according to the report, which said JP Morgan
and Morgan Stanley are advising.

The report said Hammerson is in detailed talks with VIA
Outlets' co-owner, Dutch pension fund APG, about the share sale
in the company, whose portfolio includes fashion outlets in
Amsterdam, Gothenburg and Prague.

Investment bank Lazard is advising Hammerson on measures to
strengthen its balance sheet, it added.

Hammerson did not immediately respond to a request for
comment.

The company earlier received approval for the issuance of up
to 300 million pounds under the government's Covid Corporate
Financing Facility (CCFF).

At June-end Hammerson had managed to collect only 16% of
rents due in the UK during the third quarter. Rival Intu
Properties, Britain's biggest mall owner, has already gone into
administration.

A formal announcement about the capital raise could come
alongside Hammerson's half-year results, which are scheduled to
be announced on Thursday, according to the report.
($1 = 0.7645 pounds)
(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan
Harvey)

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