Shopping centre owner intu, has been in a desperate scramble to agree a “standstill” on its current loan agreements. With 17 shopping centres in the UK and two in Europe, intu employs around 3,000 staff across the UK, while a further 102,000 work for the shops within its shopping centres.
Intu are hoping to secure a deal with its lenders by midnight on Friday to avoid calling in administrators KPMG.
In a statement, the group, which has until midnight on Friday to reach a deal, said “insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved”, adding: “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.”
The group confirmed earlier this week it had put KPMG on standby to act as administrators.
It is hoping to arrange a so-called standstill agreement with lenders and warned that if it cannot reach a deal “there is a risk that centres may have to close for a period”.
The firm has been struggling with £4.5billion worth of debt.
Some are concerned what administration would mean for British high streets, with Harrow MP Kate Osborne voicing her worries for the economy in Tyneside.
Writing on Twitter MS Osborne said: “This could be devastating news for this region’s economy with Intu owning the @intuMetrocentre and @intueldonsquare.
“There is a real possibility that its shopping centres, including those at Trafford Centre, Lakeside and Gateshead’s Metro Centre – could shut their doors.
“Intu’s troubles are indicative of problems affecting the retail property sector which has been having a bad time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Similar to other troubled sectors, many of its current problems were firmly trending before the pandemic.
“There is little doubt about the fall from grace of retail property companies. It is not just High Streets that have been suffering, but the owners of the biggest out-of-town shopping centres have seen the value of their property valuations and share prices tumble. The share price of Intu, has fallen by nearly 90 per cent in the past year.”
Full list of Intu shopping centres at risk of closure
intu Braehead Glasgow
intu Broadmarsh, Nottingham
intu Chapelfield, Norwich
intu Eldon Square, Newcastle
intu Lakeside, Essex
intu Merry Hill, West Midlands
intu Metrocentre, Gateshead
intu Milton Keynes
intu Potteries, Stoke on Trent
intu Trafford Centre, Manchester
intu Victoria Centre, Nottingham
St David’s, Cardiff
The Mall, Cribbs Causeway
Published at Fri, 26 Jun 2020 09:36:00 +0000