Weekly data sheet: Big investors mull €4 billion of retail and office sales

REITs Merlin Properties and Hammerson are looking to raise €2.4 bn from selling retail assets in Spain, the UK and France.

Merlin put its founding portfolio of BBVA bank branches up for sale to raise cash to focus on its new data centre strategy. The Spanish REIT hopes to attract a bid of up to €2bn for the 693 properties, which generate €85 mln in annual rent, a price which would be a small premium over the last valuation. BBVA will have first right of refusal.

Hammerson and its JV partners’ sales of two circa 100,000 m2 shopping centres - O’Parinor in Paris and Silverburn in Glasgow - are likely to be at much higher yields, as lack of liquidity has been a challenge for the shopping centre market since before the pandemic. Very few large European shopping centres have traded since 2017.

However, in the UK at least, signs are that this is changing. With the Lendlease stake in Bluewater - one of the UK’s largest malls - currently in negotiation for sale - Goodbody Stockbrokers noted this week that 2021 is ending with Q4 the busiest in almost five years for UK shopping centre transactions.

Two trophy office assets are in play, including Blackstone appointing agents to sell Amsterdam’s Tripolis Park after a heavy refurbishment and extension. Market sources said that the complex's now ultra high sustainability credentials could see it fetch over the asking price, and up to €700 mln.

We also track the latest completed deals, new financings and fund raisings.

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