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Hammerson investor has cut stake by £55million

By Francesca Washtell

AN ACTIVIST investor in Hammerson has sold off a £55million chunk of its stake in the shopping centre owner.

Lighthouse Properties, an investment vehicle of the company’s former director Desmond de Beer, has cut its holding from 22 per cent to less than 18 per cent – or about 200 million shares.

Hammerson owns and runs some of the UK’s biggest shopping centres including Brent Cross in northwest London and the Bullring in Birmingham. It also has interests in Bicester Village.

Earlier this year Lighthouse caused a storm when it attempted to get two new directors appointed to the board.

De Beer, who quit his role at Hammerson in October 2022, was discontented with the company’s strategy and drew attention to its high administration costs. He also blasted chief executive Rita-Rose Gagne.

But City institutions including Legal & General Investment Management and Schroders publicly backed the board and Lighthouse’s proposals were rejected.

Lighthouse said in a market update last week that it would put the cash from the sale of the Hammerson shares towards a deal to buy a shopping mall in Spain.

FTSE 250-listed Hammerson, which is worth £1.4billion, was burdened for years with a heavy debt pile and was the target of short-sellers.

Currently 2.7 per cent of its shares are out on loan to hedge funds. This is the lowest level for more than four years.

Financial Mail On Sunday




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