February 21, 2020 @ 9:59 by Steven Hugill
A retail park operator is offloading a North East site in a wider £455 million estate sale.
Hammerson is selling Cleveland Retail Park to Orion European Real Estate Fund V.
The park, based on the outskirts of Middlesbrough at Cargo Fleet, counts Marks & Spencer, Next, Argos and Boots as key tenants.
The deal is part of a seven-strong, £400 million agreement with Orion, which also includes parks in Falkirk, Merthyr Tydfil, Rugby, Telford, St Helens and Didcot.
Bosses say the sale is the largest UK retail park divestment in the last decade, adding the move reflects a previously-announced decision to focus the business’ attention more on flagship assets, premium outlets and City Quarters across major European cities.
In a separate move, Hammerson has sold parks in Swansea and Belfast for £55 million.
David Atkins, Hammerson chief executive, said: “Against a challenged retail and investment backdrop we have exited the retail parks sector.
“Having achieved disposals of close to £1 billion since the beginning of 2019, our focus remains on strengthening our balance sheet to create further resilience.
“The completion of this strategic disposal enables us to create a more concentrated portfolio of flagship venues, premium outlets and City Quarters, which we expect will deliver greater levels of both income stability and growth over the medium-term.”