Owner of Lakeside and Trafford Centre Intu on the brink of collapsing into administration

26 June 2020, 10:17

Intu owns some of the country's biggest shopping centres, including Manchester's Trafford Centre
Intu owns some of the country's biggest shopping centres, including Manchester's Trafford Centre. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

The owner of some of Britain’s biggest shopping centres including the Trafford Centre and Lakeside is on the verge of calling in administrators.

Intu has failed to secure funding in talks with lenders and has warned its malls could be forced to close if it is unable to secure a so-called standstill agreement on its current loan arrangements.

The group said today that it was likely to appoint administrators, as it remained unable to agree the terms of such a deal.

If a deal cannot be reached by midnight tonight, it is likely that shopping centres will have to shut for a period of time.

Intu employs about 3,000 staff across the UK, with a further 102,000 working ing the shops within the shopping centres

The company has been hit financially as rent payments fell off as shops closed their doors during the coronavirus outbreak.

It has until midnight on Friday to reach a deal. In a statement Intu 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, Intu said it put administrators from KPMG on stand-by as it looked to secure a deal ahead of the midnight deadline on its current loan covenants.

The group has struggled under a £4.5 billion debt burden for the past year, but has been hammered by significantly lower rent payments from retail tenants since the coronavirus outbreak.

It warned on Tuesday that its malls may be forced to shut if it was unable to secure the standstill agreement.