Hammerson and Dutch pension fund asset manager APG are now the sole owners of European premium outlet owner VIA Outlets, following their buyout of partners Value Retail and Meyer Bergman.
Each company now owns a 50% stake in the €1.6bn (£1.5bn) premium outlet business, after each increasing their stakes by more than 3%. Hammerson and APG purchased the shares for €32bn (£29.2bn) from former operating partners Value Retail and Meyer Bergman.
Ahead of the sale, a new management structure was introduced led by chief executive Otto Ambagtsheer, who has been promoted from the position of chief operating officer.
VIA Outlets was established in 2014 to acquire and manage existing outlet centres across Europe. It now operates 11 centres across nine European countries, including Sevilla Fashion Outlet and Oslo Fashion Outlet, and is the fastest-growing owner of outlets in Europe.
CEO of Hammerson David Atkins said: ”Our investment in VIA Outlets is a major differentiator for Hammerson, as this is a sector which continues to deliver value creation, as well as significant growth in brand sales and footfall. The management team at VIA Outlets has a clear strategy to attract new brands and deliver further extensions which will capitalise on the increased spending we are seeing in the market, and the low online penetration in this sector. This transaction also streamlines the ownership structure of VIA Outlets, and enhances the governance of this strategically important business unit.”
In 2018, VIA Outlets reported a 9% rise brand sales to €1bn (£976m) and 4% increase in footfall on the previous year to 30 million people.