Dun­drum cen­tre owner eyes shares

Irish Examiner - - Business - Ea­mon Quinn

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.