Home » South African tycoon Barry Stuhler’s Lighthouse to sell $228 million in shares in UK firm

South African tycoon Barry Stuhler’s Lighthouse to sell $228 million in shares in UK firm

Lighthouse Properties announces multimillion-dollar divestment plan from Hammerson Plc.

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Barry Stuhler

Key Points:

  • Lighthouse Properties, led by Barry Stuhler, plans to sell $228.2 million worth of Hammerson Plc shares in the next year to adapt to changing retail dynamics.
  • The strategic sale marks a significant shift in investment focus for Lighthouse, aiming to enhance liquidity amidst evolving market trends.
  • Barry Stuhler’s leadership at Lighthouse has propelled the firm’s evolution, emphasizing strategic divestments to optimize its real estate portfolio.

Lighthouse Properties, a Malta-based real estate firm led by South African tycoon Barry Stuhler, has revealed plans to sell R4.1 billion ($228.2 million) worth of shares in UK property development giant Hammerson Plc over the next year. This strategic move aims to unlock value from its investment amidst evolving retail trends and shifting market dynamics.

Recent move signals major investment strategy shift

The Malta-based company intends to dispose of 634,479,018 Hammerson shares in one or more tranches over the next 12 months, according to a recent Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) update. Valued at R4.1 billion ($228.2 million), the sale represents a significant shift in Lighthouse’s investment strategy and provides liquidity. 

The disclosure of the proposed transaction follows the crossing of the 5 percent ownership threshold in Hammerson. As per the JSE listing requirements, any disposals reaching this threshold trigger mandatory announcements on the exchange.

On June 17, 2024, Lighthouse confirmed the sale of the first tranche, consisting of 109,103,790 shares in Hammerson, for a total cash consideration of R718.48 million ($39.82 million).

Lighthouse adjusts amid retail sector’s e-commerce impact

Lighthouse has held a significant stake in Hammerson for several years, aligned with a strategic partnership focused on European shopping center ownership and development. However, the retail sector has undergone significant transformations in recent times, with the rise of e-commerce impacting traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Late last month, Lighthouse sold 168.2 million shares in Hammerson for ZAR 1.10 billion (USD 61.15 million). This follows a similar divestment in August 2023 by Resilient Reit, co-founded by Stuhler, which sold 162,431,649 Hammerson shares for R982.2 million ($51.6 million), aligning with its energy-focused initiatives and strategic expansion plans.

Lighthouse Properties thrives under Barry Stuhler’s leadership

Headquartered in Malta, Lighthouse Properties has solidified its position as a key player in global real estate under Barry Stuhler’s leadership. Originally founded as Lighthouse Capital Limited, the company rebranded in December 2021 to better reflect its focus on direct property assets and listed real estate and infrastructure securities. 

Lighthouse Properties’ strategic shift to optimize its portfolio and free up capital for new investments comes amid a changing retail landscape and following the successful completion of its tranche of the sale to ensure long-term sustainability.

With a portfolio of retail assets across France, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom, Lighthouse Properties continues to thrive in the global real estate sector. Notably, Stuhler holds a 9.72-percent stake in the company, totaling 172,699,222 shares.

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