* Sells bulk of office portfolio to Brookfield Office Properties
* Post-sale portfolio 97 percent retail
* Sees impact of sale as broadly neutral for 2012 earnings
By Adveith Nair
LONDON, June 19 Anglo-French property developer Hammerson is selling the bulk of its London office portfolio to Brookfield Office Properties for 518 million pounds ($812 million), it said on Tuesday, in line with its strategy of becoming a specialist retail property company.
The company, which announced plans to sell its London offices earlier this year, said its remaining portfolio would be 97 percent retail following the deal.
Hammerson said it expects to receive a payment of 329 million pounds for 99 Bishopsgate, Principal Place and two smaller properties by September 30. The sale of the other buildings, 125 Old Broad Street and Leadenhall Court, will complete by June 2013 for 189 million pounds, it added.
The total proceeds of 518 million pounds are 5 percent above proforma book value, Hammerson said.
"We have been able to achieve our goal of becoming a pure retail business earlier than anticipated by arranging a single transaction for the majority of our London offices," Chief Executive David Atkins said.
"At this point in the cycle we can reinvest successfully to increase scale in our three chosen areas of prime shopping centres, convenient retail parks and premium designer outlets," Atkins added.