One of the biggest property development and investment companies in the UK, British Land, is to sell off its digital property management platform to Equiem, a tenant experience technology group.
The move comes as property giant Hammerson has sold off all seven of its UK retail parks to Canadian private equity firm Brookfield for £330m.
British Land is selling its software platform, Vicinitee, in exchange for a minority stake in Equiem.
The acquisition will combine Vicinitee’s management-based platform with Equiem’s tenant-based technology, creating an “end-to-end solution for managing tenant relationships, flex space and property operations in one system”.
Vicinitee software solutions are currently deployed across more than 150 properties in the UK, including trophy assets such as Broadgate, The Shard, The Gherkin and The Scalpel.
Equiem’s UK business is set to triple in revenue size as a result of the acquisition. It is understood that British Land’s minority stake in Equiem will be under 10 per cent.
The deal comes as part of a growing partnership between Equiem and British Land. The FTSE 100 property group has engaged Equiem to roll out its tenant experience platform across its 28m sq ft portfolio, with the rollout beginning at Broadgate, the 32-acre campus.
Sally Jones, head of strategy, digital, and technology at British Land, added: “Our partnership with Equiem is a natural step forward to offering the highest levels of service and experience to everyone across the property management chain. This acquisition creates an unmatched value proposition that we believe clearly defines Equiem as a market leader and preferred partner of landlords globally.”
Founded in Australia in 2011, Equiem developed a digital tenant experience platform which has seen its user base grow to 175,000 individuals across 9,000 companies, including Facebook, Accenture, LinkedIn, Atlassian, PwC, EY, Citi Bank, Nike & Adidas, located on three continents.
Meanwhile, Hammerson ‘concluded its exit’ from the UK retail parks sector and said the deal represented an eight per cent discount on a December valuation of its portfolio at £357m.
Hammerson said cash from the sale of its retail parks would “further strengthen” the company’s balance sheet and reduce its net debt, which was £2.2bn at December 31, 2020, and increase liquidity, which stood at £1.7bn at the same date.
It first confirmed it was in talks with Brookfield over the deal last week.
The group, which also owns a number of UK shopping centres such as the Birmingham Bullring and Bristol’s Cabot Circus, has revealed it had collected less than half the rent it was due in the second quarter despite retail restrictions easing.
But the firm said a rise in shopper numbers across England was encouraging since the reopening of non-essential stores on April 12, with around 90 per cent of operators able to trade and footfall at its sites “competitive with pre-pandemic levels”.