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Intu Properties prepares to fall into administration

Intu Properties said on Friday it was likely to go into administration after the shopping centre owner failed to secure an agreement with its creditors, my colleague Zoe Wood writes.

The company, whose centres include Lakeside in Essex and the Trafford Centre in Manchester, has debts of more than £4.5bn and said it had been unable to persuade lenders to grant a debt repayment holiday before Friday night’s deadline. The company owns a total of 17 shopping centres across the UK.

On Tuesday, Intu had warned that if talks with creditors broke down it was headed into administration and that it had appointed the accountancy firm KPMG to handle the process.

The company’s complex finances meant the administrators would have to be paid upfront, the company said, and if it could not find the cash to do so said its malls might have to close for a short period.

In a statement on Friday, the company said:

Since that update, discussions have continued with the Intu Group’s creditors in relation to the terms of standstill-based agreements. Unfortunately, insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved on such terms.

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.

It promised a further announcement would be made “as soon as possible.”

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