Intu lines up administrator in case debt talks fail
The UK’s biggest shopping centre operator reportedly has administrators waiting in the wings in case its discussions with its lenders fail. Intu Properties has KPMG standing by to handle any potential administration filing as it enters a crucial fortnight in its history.
The firm’s debt waiver expires later this month and could force it into administration unless lenders agree to the 18-month standstill that it has requested. Talks around this continue and the company is making contingency plans in case the outcome isn't favourable.
It has around £4.5bn of debt, but its market capitalisation based on its share price on Friday was less than £126 million, after the value of its shares have declined steadily over the past decade.
The company, which owns major shopping malls including Lakeside, the Trafford Centre and the Metrocentre among many others, has struggled for some time with its debts and has been selling some of its flagship properties in Spain in order to reduce these.
If it went into administration, it would have a huge effect. Apart from hosting major name stores, it directly employs around 3,000 people and has a major impact on the economies of many towns in the UK. More than 100,000 people work in its shopping centres and 30,000 in its wider supply chain.
Sky News reported the KPMG move and also said sources had told it that Intu’s fate “remained in the balance, although people close to the company expressed ‘cautious optimism’ that its banks would agree to step back from the brink”.
Sky also said any administration process for the firm would be complex due to its corporate structure that means its various shopping centre assets are owned by separate vehicles.
But the firm has published figures showing that it has enough cash to survive if it can push the standstill agreement through. And some sources have said that its lenders could fall in line, given that the alternative would cause them even more problems.
Copyright © 2023 FashionNetwork.com All rights reserved.