Dundrum centre owner eyes shares
Shares in international shopping centre owner Hammerson fell as it confirmed it may seek to sell shares to help get through the Covid-19 crisis.
Hammerson owns half of the Dundrum Shopping Centre and the Swords Pavilions and Ilac Centre in Dublin city centre; controls the nearby 1916 battlefield site; and has a significant minority stake in the Kildare Village, having sold up in Belfast in recent months.
In Britain, it owns Brent Cross in London and Birmingham’s Bullring and has interests in Germany and France.
Along with other retail owners, Hammerson was facing huge pressures in Britain long before the Covid-19 restrictions closed.
Its shares fell a further 5.5% after confirming it may sell shares to shore up its finances amid the Covid storm, while disposing of its half-share in Via Outlets.
Its shares have fallen 71% in the past year.
It also said that rent collection in the UK in the third quarter had reached over 30% at this stage.
Shop owners have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, as retailers were forced to close and failed to pay rent while consumers spent more online.
The fallout has already claimed Hammerson rival Intu Properties, which collapsed into administration in June after failing to agree on loan waivers with lenders.
Sky News has reported that Hammerson seeks to raise as much as £600m (€665m).
With the value of Hammerson’s retail assets expected to decline, raising £600m would be at the “lower end” of what the company needs, Liberum analyst Tom Musson wrote in a note to clients.
Hammerson needs to raise about £1.3bn to keep its debt load at a “more comfortable” level once those writedowns are factored in, he said.
“The company continues to take proactive measures relating to the management of its cost base and cashflow and, in recent weeks, it secured approval for the issuance of up to £300m under the Covid Corporate Finance Facility from the Bank of England,” Hammerson said in its statement.