Investors back Hammerson in Lighthouse standoff

14th April 2023 | Jack Oliver

Two of Hammerson’s investors, Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) and Schroders, have backed the real estate investment trust (REIT) in an internal dispute with its biggest shareholder, Sky News has reported.

Investment vehicle Lighthouse has tabled resolutions to appoint two new board members due to its discontent with Hammerson’s current strategy. It is headed by former Hammerson director Desmond de Beer and controls nearly 23% of the REIT.

Lighthouse wants Hammerson to speed up asset sales and resume dividend payments.

In a letter published in the REIT’s annual report, it said it did “not have confidence in the Hammerson board as currently constituted, having regard to the operational and strategic weaknesses reflected in Hammerson”.

De Beers left the board last October and expressed discontent with Hammerson’s record of reducing administration costs.

However LGIM and Schroders, which own over 6% of the REIT between them, are joined by Hammerson’s second-largest investor APG, which owns a 20% stake and also opposes Lighthouse’s proposals.

Speaking to Sky News, a Schroders spokesperson said: “As a long-term active investor in Hammerson, our aim is to use our influence to engage constructively and thoughtfully with the companies in which we invest.

“We support the board’s strategy of divestment and deleveraging, and believe the current board is well-positioned in regards to skills, experience and diversity.

“As such, we will not be supporting the shareholder resolutions proposed by Lighthouse Properties at the upcoming annual meeting.”


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