Shopping centre owner Intu expected to go into administration

Administration looms for shopping centre giant

Administration looms for shopping centre giant

The firm, which also owns the Lakeside complex in Essex, one of the largest shopping centres in Britain, had been struggling under a mountain of debt even before the coronavirus, and has failed to reach an agreement in financial restructuring talks with its lenders.

On Tuesday, Intu warned it had lined up KPMG to oversee an administration if no deal was struck.

The company is the UK's biggest shopping centre group, with 17 centres in the United Kingdom and three in Spain.

Retailers were forced to shut stores for almost three months due to the United Kingdom government-imposed coronavirus lockdown, pushing some of them into administration, while others slashed costs and struggled to keep up with their rent payments.

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However, Intu has now confirmed that "insufficient alignment and agreement" has been achieved on such terms.

The firm has issued an update today, saying: "On 23 June 2020, intu properties plc ('Intu') provided an update on discussions with key stakeholders to progress its standstill strategy ahead of the revolving credit facility covenant waiver expiry at 11:59 p.m. this evening, 26 June 2020. This is likely to involve the appointment of administrators".

"A further announcement will be made as soon as possible".

However it has warned that in the longer term some may close. Malls such as the Trafford Centre, Lakeside and Gateshead's Metrocentre would probably attract potential buyers, although its smaller regional malls may prove less popular.

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