Intu Derby owner to be taken over in £3.4 billion deal

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

The company which owns the Intu Derby shopping centre looks set to be taken over by a fellow retail giant in a deal worth £3.4 billion.

Intu Properties, which has owned the centre since 2014, is to be bought by Hammerson, the company behind several UK shopping centres.

The boards of each business have agreed terms and if the deal goes ahead it would create an enlarged company with assets worth £21 billion.

Will the Derby shopping centre change its name?

The enlarged group would be led by David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, and would be called Hammerson plc.

However, the Intu brand will remain, which means that the Intu Derby shopping centre will not be changing its name.

Intu Properties took over the shopping centre from Westfield in 2014

Intu Properties took over the shopping centre from Westfield in 2014

Mr Atkins said: “I hold Intu’s high-quality centres in high regard and I look forward to working with a strengthened team to enhance the performance of our entire portfolio.”

John Strachan, chairman of Intu and proposed senior independent director of the enlarged group, said: “Intu offers high-quality retail and leisure destinations in the UK and Spain, which when merged with Hammerson’s own top-quality assets in the UK, in France and in Ireland, present a highly attractive proposition for retailers and shoppers in Europe's leading cities.

“I am proud of the financial and operational success that Intu’s management team has delivered and pleased to see that the Intu brand will continue.”

According to Intu chairman John Strachan the Intu brand will continue

According to Intu chairman John Strachan the Intu brand will continue

David Tyler, chairman of Hammerson, said: “This transaction will deliver real value for shareholders. The financial strength of the enlarged group and its strong leadership team will make it well-placed to take advantage of higher growth opportunities on a pan-European scale.”

Intu Properties bought the Intu Derby shopping centre from Westfield in March, 2014.

The centre first opened for business in 2007 following a £340 million investment by Westfield. It was known as Westfield Derby until Intu took it over.

Today, Intu Derby supports almost 7,000 jobs through the retail, catering, leisure and other tenants that occupy the centre, which attracts around 23 million people a year. Last year, the centre generated £311.9 million of GVA (gross value added) for the city.

Flagship stores in Intu Derby include Debenhams

Flagship stores in Intu Derby include Debenhams

In October this year, Intu marked the 10th anniversary of the centre, which is home to almost 200 shops including flagship retailers like Debenhams and Marks and Spencer.

As well as Derby, other shopping centres owned by Intu are Intu Lakeside, in Essex, Intu Merry Hill, in the West Midlands, Intu Metrocentre, in Gateshead, Intu Milton Keynes, Intu Potteries, Intu Trafford Centre, in Manchester, Intu Uxbridge, Intu Victoria Centre, in Nottingham, Intu Watford, Manchester Arndale, St David’s, Cardiff and The Mall, Cribbs Causeway.

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Hammerson owns, manages and develops retail destinations across Europe.

Its portfolio has a value of about £10 billion and includes 23 prime shopping centres, 18 retail parks and investments in 19 premium outlet villages. Key investments include Bullring, Birmingham; Bicester Village, Oxfordshire; Dundrum Town Centre; Dublin and Les Terrasses du Port, Marseille.

Shareholders of both Hammerson and Intu will vote on the proposed merger next year.