Former Hammerson boss buys up his old companies offices

Martin Jepson, the former London head of developers Hammerson, has bought up over £500 million worth of his old company’s offices in the city. Jepson was the boss of Hammerson in London until last year. He then left to join Canadian developer Brookfield where his brief was to build a property portfolio worth £5bn.

Brookfield had been the favourites to buy the offices when Hammerson first put them up for sale several months ago. Hammerson wants to concentrate on its retail assets which include Brent Cross shopping centre. Brookfield has bought around 75 percent of the Hammerson offices on the market, spending £518 million.

These include 125, Old Broad Street and the much-coveted 99 Bishopsgate. Also acquired by Brookfield are the Principal Place development site and Leadenhall Court. Principal Place has planning permission for a 57,500 square metre office block and also a residential block.

It is thought that Hammerson had originally wanted to keep hold of this asset. The law firm CMS Cameron McKenna were marked as possible tenants but withdrew their interest at the start of this year. Hammerson still has some assets in London and they are due to be sold in the next eighteen months.

The company will keep its head office at 10 Grosvenor Place and also the fifty percent stake in the former Bishopsgate Goods Yard. It is planning a commercial and retail development there. The firm also wants to increase its European retail assets and will be using the funds raised from the sales to invest in these. Include in this will be the development of a new £400 million shopping centre in Marseilles.