Hammerson Plc (HMSO), the U.K.’s third- largest publicly traded property company, signed an agreement with Royal London Asset Management Ltd. and Irish Bank Resolution Corp.’s IBRC Assurance unit to manage and redevelop the Whitgift Centre shopping mall in south London.
The Whitgift Centre has about 580,000 square feet (53,900 square meters) of retail space including 154 shops, department stores and a supermarket, according to a statement from Royal London and IBRC today. It attracts about 28 million shoppers a year.
Hammerson already owns Centrale Shopping Centre in Croydon, south London, which it bought last year for 98 million pounds ($130 million). IBRC’s private clients bought 50 percent of the Whitgift Centre in 2005 and may miss payments on a 171 million- pound loan used to make the purchase, the bank said in a report to investors obtained by Bloomberg News last month.
Combining Centrale and Whitgift “will create a unique opportunity to bring about a game-changing event for the benefit the whole town,” Royal London and Dublin-based IBRC said in the statement.
“We have a vision to kick start the much needed retail-led regeneration of Croydon,” Lawrence Hutchings, London-based Hammerson’s U.K. retail managing director, said in an e-mail.
To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at email@example.com.