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France: Retail Park Development Acquisitions


Hammerson plc has entered into agreements to acquire two retail park developments in France, representing a potential total investment of approximately €50million.

It has exchanged contracts to acquire the freehold of a proposed development, St Omer Retail Park, for €29.5 million. The project will be developed by current owner SCCV des Frais Fonds, a 50:50 joint venture between CFA Nord (part of the Financière Duval group) and local development company PALM Promotions. Hammerson will pay 30% of the purchase price upon start on site in January 2008. Subsequent payments will be made dependent on CFA / PALM achieving agreed development milestones. The site is located 2km south of St Omer, between Calais and Lille, with direct access from the ring road. An adjacent site accommodates a complementary, strong retail offer including a large Auchan hypermarket and a 40-unit shopping gallery.

CFA / PALM has obtained a CDEC , and is awaiting full planning consent for 24,000 m² of retail units, of which Hammerson’s ownership upon completion will be 19,340 m². Around 89% of the scheme is pre-let, with principal tenants including Boulanger, Gifi, Intersport and Tati. The estimated net rental income upon completion in mid-2009 is €1.75 million per annum, representing a net initial yield of 5.9%.

Hammerson has also signed heads of terms to acquire the development site of Cap Malo Retail Park, near Rennes, through the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of GVA Collyer Coxhead Cap Malo, a subsidiary of GVA Collyer Coxhead Holdings. Hammerson will pay €10.3 million for the five-hectare site, which has a CDEC for 10,700 m² of clothing, homewares and leisure retail park accommodation. A planning application has been submitted and the result is expected shortly. Additional total development costs are estimated at €10.6 million, with work on site expected to start in April 2008 for completion in April 2009. The forecast net initial yield on completion is 6.2%.

The acquisitions will be financed from existing committed bank facilities.

John Richards, Chief Executive of Hammerson, said:

“Hammerson’s strategy is to expand its business in France. These two acquisitions provide attractive development opportunities and significantly increase the scale of the group’s activities in the French retail park sector, following the acquisition of Villebon 2 in 2005. These transactions follow Hammerson’s recent sale of its 50% interest in 9 Place Vendôme in Paris, which realised a total development surplus of £117million (€174 million) or 130% on cost.”


John Richards, Chief Executive.
Tel: 020 7887 1000
Christopher Smith, Director of Corporate Affairs.
Tel: 020 7887 1019.
Gerard Devaux.
Tel: 0033156693000.

Notes to Editors:

Hammerson plc

Hammerson plc is a leading European REIT (LSE: HMSO). Established over 50 years ago, the group has operations in the UK and France. Its high quality real estate portfolio provides approximately 1,300,000 m² of retail space and 275,000 m² of prime offices and is valued at nearly £7 billion. It has a development programme of around £6 billion.

1. CDEC: Commission Départementale d’Equipement Commerciale, or planning approval which determines the amount of commercial activity allowed on a site.