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UK: Hammerson assets sales expected after failed takeover

 |  July 22, 2018

Shopping center owner Hammerson is facing a backlash from shareholders on plans to trim its portfolio of properties amid simmering frustration over its handling of takeover bids earlier this year.

Activist investor Elliott Advisors, which recently ­increased its stake in Hammerson to almost 5.3%, has spent the past few weeks rallying other shareholders to call for a more radical shake-up than the one due to be proposed this week by David Atkins, the chief executive.

He is expected to outline plans to sell some ­under-performing properties to improve the quality of its portfolio and protect ­itself from a volatile retail environment, particularly in the UK.

They are ready to push for Hammerson to sell some of its most valuable UK ­assets, such as the Bullring shopping center in Birmingham, one of its best-performing properties. Mr Atkins also faces pressure to exit some markets, such as Ireland and France, entirely.

Mr Atkins and the board were criticized after resisting a takeover by French ­rival Klepierre. It offered £6.35 (US$8.34) per share for Hammerson, which is now trading at around £5.30 (US$6.96).

Full Content: Financial Times

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