THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, March 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wereldhave and Lone Star Funds have completed the sale and purchase of Wereldhave's portfolio in the US for $ 720m gross. The transaction was executed in three consecutive tranches on February 28 and March 19 and 21, 2013. The US office will be closed in the first half of 2013.
On 8 February 2013 Wereldhave sold nearly the entire UK portfolio in two transactions for [Pounds] 243m. Approx. 75% of the transaction volume was transferred on February 8, whereas the remainder was completed on February 26, 2013. The value of the remaining UK assets amounts to approx. [Pounds] 30m, consisting of a mixed use retail/office development project in Richmond, an office building in London and a plot of land. The Richmond development project was completed in March and Wereldhave plans to sell all remaining UK assets in the coming months. The UK office will be closed during the first half of 2013.
The proceeds from these property disposals were used to reduce group debt. Wereldhave now has an LTV below 20%.
The reduction of general costs is well on track. General costs will be reduced from [Eur] 20.8m in 2012 (excluding restructuring costs) to below [Eur] 16m in 2013 and [Eur] 14m in 2014.
The completion of the disposals in the US and the UK mark the end of the Derisk phase of Wereldhave's strategy. During the past year, Wereldhave has sold properties for an amount of [Eur] 1.2bn, substantially improving the risk profile of the group. Wereldhave is now focused on shopping centres in North-West Europe and sustainable offices in Paris.
Wereldhave will now enter into the next phase of it's strategy, the Regroup phase. This phase aims at strengthening and expanding Wereldhave's position in the four core markets through operational excellence, a controlled development pipeline, value maximisation of the shopping centre Itis, reinvesting in core markets and alignment with all stakeholders.
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