Elliott Management has reached an agreement with U.K.-based property developer Hammerson, confirming its support for the company’s plan to divest assets and refresh the board.
The company said it would expand its board and establish a board investment and disposals committee with a view to divesting 900 million pounds in assets. The committee will be chaired by director Andrew Formica and will include two other directors that are expected to be added in 2019.
If the divestment program is successful, the company said its net debt would be below 3 billion pounds by the end of the year. In 2018, the company said its net rental income declined 6.2% and it switched to a loss of 268 billion pounds compared with a profit of 388 million pounds in 2017.
“Tenant failures, the structural shift in retail and a more considered consumer created a difficult operating environment, putting pressure on property values,” David Atkins, Hammerson CEO, said in a statement.
Elliott said it had a “constructive dialogue” with the board of Hammerson and welcomes its decision to search for two additional directors and the formation of the asset disposals committee.
“This increased focus on strategic disposals, as marked by updated targets for 2019 and a current pipeline of potential sales of over £900 million, signals a positive development in the company’s progress, and its ability to ensure that its portfolio of high-quality assets delivers compelling value for all shareholders,” Elliott said in a separate statement.
Elliott first built a stake in the company in mid-April 2018 and a few months later made clear it wanted a bolder overhaul plan, including more disposals.
Shares in Hammerson were down 1.2% at market opening Monday in London.