Change in ownership structure at premium outlet operator
VIA Outlets, the fast growing owner-operator of premium outlet shopping destinations in Europe, has confirmed that both Hammerson and APG have each increased their ownership in the business by over 3 per cent (6.25 per cent combined), and now each own a 50 per cent stake in the €1.6bn premium outlet business.
Hammerson and APG have purchased the balance of shares for €32m each at a slight premium to June 2019 NAV from former operating partners Value Retail and Meyer Bergman.
Ahead of the change in ownership, a new management structure has been introduced, led by Chief Executive Otto Ambagtsheer, formerly the COO of VIA Outlets, alongside a proven and talented operating team.
Otto Ambagtsheer, the new CEO, commented: “APG and Hammerson have long standing interests in the premium outlet sector and their additional investment enables us to turn VIA Outlets into a self-managed and independent operating organisation. This will ensure the outstanding performance at VIA Outlets is maintained, enabling us to continue to substantially outperform the wider retail market.”
David Atkins, CEO of Hammerson, 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.”