Hammerson's mixed-use Victoria Quarter in Leeds in the UK. Picture: 123RF
Hammerson's mixed-use Victoria Quarter in Leeds in the UK. Picture: 123RF

UK and Europe shopping centre owner Hammerson said the sale of seven retail parks for about R9bn to Orion European Real Estate has fallen through.

Hammerson said in April that Orion did not intend to proceed with the deal, with the landlord then serving notice that the transaction must proceed by May 6.

Hammerson had announced the sale of the parks for £400m (R9.2bn) in February, which forms part of its strategy to exit the retail parks sector over the medium term to focus on flagship assets, premium outlets and city quarters in major European cities.

London-based Hammerson and other JSE-listed but UK-focused landlords, including Capital & Counties, Capital & Regional and Intu Properties, have been under pressure after Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016.

The property sector has come under further pressure as the Covid-19 pandemic shuts malls and cuts into consumers disposable income.

Hammerson's share price has fallen 76% so far in 2020, compared to a 48.08% fall in the JSE property index.

With Alistair Anderson

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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