The purchase is still subject to approval by Hammerson’s shareholders, as well as approval by the relevant competition authorities. In addition, APG has declared it will participate in the Hammerson rights issue announced today.
VIA Outlets operates eleven Premium Outlets in nine European countries with more than 267,000 m2 of floor space and more than 1,130 stores. In the Netherlands it operates Batavia Stad. VIA Outlets is one of the leading Premium Outlet operators in Europe, with the third largest portfolio in Europe. As of June 30, 2020, the market value of the VIA portfolio was approximately € 1.55 billion. APG is expected to pay around € 301 million for Hammerson’s interest, equivalent to an 18.7% discount compared to the market value of the assets.
APG has a 19.6% interest in Hammerson and has declared its willingness to participate pro rata in the rights issue. This is expected to amount to € 120 million for APG. The Disposal to APG is conditional on the Rights Issue proceeding, and is expected to complete in Q4 2020
With the sale of the stake in VIA Outlets and the rights issue, Hammerson expects to strengthen its capital structure and thereby gain a better starting position to execute on the refined strategy.
Robert-Jan Foortse, Head of European Property Investments at APG: ‘The international retail sector has been under pressure for some time due to structural changes in the sector that are now also exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. This also had an impact on Hammerson’s portfolio and valuation. We support Hammerson’s financial and strategic measures as announced today and therefore we have decided to support Hammerson in a holistic package of a pro-rata participation in the Hammerson rights issue in combination with the acquisition by APG of substantially all of the stake Hammerson owns in VIA Outlets. With the latter transaction we move towards full ownership of VIA Outlets. We believe that Premium Outlets in strategic locations are increasingly popular with modern consumers. They are an important part of the omni-channel distribution strategy of leading brands. Premium Outlets constitute a material part of our European real estate portfolio.’