Shopping centre giant Intu on brink of administration

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Jeff J Mitchell

The owner of some of the UK’s biggest shopping centres, Intu, has warned that it is likely to call in administrators.

The firm, which owns Manchester’s Trafford Centre and the Lakeside complex in Essex, said it had not reached an agreement in financial restructuring talks with its lenders.

Intu warned earlier this week that its troubles could see entire sites shut.

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

Intu has already lined up administrators KPMG as a “contingency” in case financial restructuring talks with lenders fail.

About 132,000 jobs in the company and in its wider supply chain will be in question should the firm fall into administration.

The company had been struggling before the coronavirus outbreak to fill outlets in some of its centres, and had debts of about £4.5bn.

Intu’s centres were partially shut during the coronavirus lockdown, with only essential shops remaining open.

In an update to investors on Friday, Intu said it had failed to reach agreement in discussions with lenders on so-called “standstill” terms, under which it would look to defer interest payments on its large and complex debts.

It was also seeking agreements from its wide range of creditors, from big banks to hedge funds, for them not to take action if it breached certain terms on its loans.

Intu’s UK shopping centres

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Intu owns the Trafford Centre in Manchester

Braehead, Glasgow

Broadmarsh, Nottingham

Chapelfield, Norwich

Derby

Eldon Square, Newcastle

Lakeside, Essex

Merry Hill, West Midlands

Metrocentre, Gateshead

Milton Keynes

Potteries, Stoke-on-Trent

Trafford Centre, Manchester

Uxbridge

Victoria Centre, Nottingham

Watford

Centres run as joint ventures:

Manchester Arndale

St David’s, Cardiff

The Mall, Cribbs Causeway

Intu group companies provide key services to its sites, including facilities management, IT, cleaning, security and maintenance.

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