// Hammerson retail park sale called off as firm pulls out of £400m deal
// Private equity firm Orion said last month that it did not intend to complete the deal
Hammerson has announced that the sale of its retail parks has been called off after private equity firm Orion pulled out of the £400 million deal.
Hammerson said it had a deposit of £21 million that had been held in escrow by its solicitors after Orion European Real Estate Fund held firm in its decision not to proceed with acquiring the seven retail parks in April.
Orion said last month that it did not intend to complete the deal, despite exchanging unconditional contracts in February.
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Meanwhile, Hammerson said it served Orion with notice to complete by Wednesday but was informed last night that the deal would not go ahead.
If the deal were to go ahead, it would have marked the biggest sale of UK retail parks in a decade. Hammerson’s plan to exit the retail park sector has now been obstructed by this cancellation.
The property firm has been seeking to exit the struggling sector since 2018.
Hammerson has sold 14 retail parks since then, generating sales proceeds of £764 million to reduce the group’s debt and strengthen its balance sheet.
Retail parks in Falkirk, Middlesbrough, Rugby and St Helens were among the assets Hammerson was aiming to sell to Orion.