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LONDON-Hammerson has sold an office investment to German fund KanAm Grund Kapitalanlagegesellschaft for £74 million ($120 million).

The 99,030-sf block is let to American law firm Latham & Watkins at £4.8 million ($7.7 million) a year and the disposal of the investment means Hammerson has secured a £10 million ($16 million) profit on the building. The proceeds will be used to cut borrowings. Insignia Bourdais and Jones Lang LaSalle advised Hammerson on the Paris deal.

Details of the deal were announced at the company’s AGM where it was also announced that David Edmonds, the director-general of communications watchdog OFTEL, has been appointed a non-executive director of the company.

Earlier this year Hammerson reported increases in values in the UK and French retail portfolios, but a fall in London and Paris offices during 2002. The group predicted a continued deterioration in the central London office market in the second half of the year and added that, and while there should be some recovery in the occupational market in 2003 and 2004, that was unlikely to translate into a recovery in rental levels.

At the time the group also warned shareholders to anticipate “some further softening in rents in 2003″ in Paris offices, with potential occupiers cautious about entering into new commitments.

But at the AGM chairman Ron Spinney confirmed that Hammerson is still focusing on prime retail and office properties in a small number of key European markets. He added that they should provide a “robust” rental stream and potential for continuing income growth over the next few years.

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