Shopping centre owner Intu tumbles into administration

Trafford Centre owner Intu has tumbled into administration after failed crunch talks with its lenders.

The shopping centre owner said it has applied to appoint administrators from KPMG, after warning earlier on Friday that it was on the verge of collapse.

The confirmation came minutes after the London Stock Exchange suspended shares in the listed firm.

However, the company said its shopping centres will continue to trade for the time being despite its insolvency.

Intu, which also runs Lakeside in Essex, had been in a desperate scramble to agree a “standstill” on its current loan agreements.

Coronavirus
The Intu Victoria Shopping Centre in Nottingham (Simon Cooper/PA)

Earlier on Friday the group said it was likely to appoint administrators, as it remained unable to agree the terms of such a deal with its creditors.

In a statement, the group, which had until midnight on Friday to reach a deal, said “insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved”.

Earlier this week, Intu said it put the 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.

Intu employs about 3,000 staff across the UK, while a further 102,000 work for the shops within its shopping centres.

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

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