File picture: James White
CAPE TOWN - Hammerson, the UK-based property group with a secondary listing on the JSE, is selling Abbotsinch Retail Park, Paisley, to Ashby Capital for £67million (R1.25billion), a statement said yesterday. 

“Our absolute priority is to reduce debt, and with this deal we have exceeded our target of more than £500m in disposals in 2019. We continue to progress negotiations on additional portfolio assets,” said Hammerson chief executive David Atkins. 

The deal, together with the sale of a major stake in its Italie Deux destination in Paris for £423m in July, and additional retail park disposals, meant that Hammerson had achieved £523m of sales in total, he added. 

Disposals would enable the group to prove the value of its business, strengthen the balance sheet, and provide flexibility to benefit from opportunities that would arise in the coming years, particularly with regards to the City Quarters pipeline, he added. The sale price was at a net initial yield of 7.8percent and was 3percent below book value as at June 30, 2019. 

Abbotsinch is 8km west of Glasgow and is fully let to a “high quality line up of brands” including an anchor B&Q, Dunelm, Tapi and Natuzzi, the group said. Hammerson acquired the site in 2012 for £42m and has added more than 8700 square metres of retail floor space through phased developments, for £17m, which increased the tenant line up to 14 from six.