The shopping centre giant, which owns the Trafford Centre in Manchester and Lakeside in Essex, has said talks with lenders have failed to reach an agreement and warned it is on the verge of calling in administrators. Intu said they are now “likely” to appoint administrators. The collapse of the group, which is responsible – both directly and indirectly – for over 135,000 jobs, would be one of the biggest corporate casualties of the coronavirus pandemic so far.
In a statement, the group, which has until midnight on Friday to reach a deal, said “insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved”.
It added: “The board is therefore considering the position of Intu with a view to protecting the interests of its stakeholders.
“This is likely to involve the appointment of administrators.
“A further announcement will be made as soon as possible.”
Earlier this week the group confirmed that it had KPMG, a leading accountancy firm, to contingency plan for administration.
Intu has seen a significant drop in revenues due to the coronavirus lockdown and is hoping to arrange a so-called standstill agreement with lenders to save the company.
The accountancy firm has asked creditors for £12m to enable it to run an orderly administration process.
Bosses warned that if a deal was not struck, the shopping centres “may have to close for a period”.
Thousands of jobs would be put at risk if the shopping centre group collapsed.
Intu directly employs nearly 3,000 people but is vital to many of the UK’s regional economies as 102,000 people work in its 17 UK shopping centres.
Another 30,000 people also work in Intu’s broader supply chain.
Intu is one of the London stock market’s worst performers, with its shares down almost 90 percent during the last year.
Equity investors face being wiped out if the company collapses.
More to follow…
Published at Fri, 26 Jun 2020 07:12:00 +0000