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UK's Hammerson plans to raise 825 mln pounds, reboot lease terms with retailers

British shopping centre operator Hammerson Plc announced moves to raise a combined 825 million pounds ($1.08 billion) on Thursday and said it would reboot the terms of its leases with UK retailers as it faced a slump in rent collections, footfall and the value of its properties.

Adds details on deals, results

Aug 6 (Reuters) - British shopping centre operator Hammerson Plc HMSO.L announced moves to raise a combined 825 million pounds ($1.08 billion) on Thursday and said it would reboot the terms of its leases with UK retailers as it faced a slump in rent collections, footfall and the value of its properties.

The deals would significantly strengthen its financial position, providing liquidity headroom as it continues to refocus its portfolio towards its flagship destinations in the UK and Ireland, the owner of the Brent Cross shopping centre said.

The coronavirus crisis has brought mall operators to their knees as their already struggling tenants have been squeezed further by stay-at-home shoppers, prompting calls for rent relief and deferrals.

The FTSE-250 company said it would raise proceeds of about 552 million pounds through rights issue, and about 274 million pounds through disposal of its stake in VIA Outlets.

Its net rental income fell 44% to 87.3 million pounds for the six months ended June 30, whereas occupancy rate fell to 97% from 94% in the year-ago period.

($1 = 0.7609 pounds)

(Reporting by Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

((Samantha.machado@thomsonreuters.com; Within UK +44 20 7542 1810; Outside UK +918067499956; Reuters Messaging: Samantha.machado@thomsonreuters.com))

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