Hammerson to buy smaller rival Intu Properties for around 3.4 billion pounds

The intu Merry Hill shopping centre is to become part of an enlarged £21bn group

Hammerson has agreed to acquire fellow retail property giant Intu in an all-share deal that would create a company with assets of more than £21bn.

Shares in Intu rose by almost 19% on the news while Hammerson's fell by 3%.

"This marks an exciting milestone in the history of Hammerson", said its Chief Executive David Atkins. He's spent his life in shopping centres, doing all the usual stuff: going up the wrong escalators, knocking over invisible three-year-olds and walking into airless shops, staring blankly for a bit, and walking out again.

Notts TV has contacted Intu and Hammerson to ask if the deal will have any affect on the planned £100 million redevelopment of the Broadmarsh centre, now expected to start in 2018 after a two-year delay.

"The financial strength of the enlarged group and its strong leadership team will make it well-placed to take advantage of higher growth opportunities on a pan-European scale".

Intu's Chairman John Strachan added: "A combination of both Intu and Hammerson will create a more resilient, diversified and stronger group that we believe will benefit all our stakeholders".

The new firm is to be led by Hammerson chief executive David Atkins and chaired by Hammerson chairman David Tyler.

Shares in Hammerson were down 1.45% to 526.75p on Wednesday morning, while Intu's were up 20% to 238.54p by 1100 GMT.

Hammerson holds stakes in Birmingham's Bullring, London's Brent Cross and Bicester Village, while Intu's properties include Manchester's Arndale and Trafford Centre, Lakeside in Essex and the Metrocentre in Gateshead, Europe's largest covered shopping centre.

The buy-out creates the biggest property company in Britain with a value of around £21 billion. In fact, their net asset values have continued to rise, to confound the sceptics' worst fears.



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