Shopping Centre giant Intu teeters on the edge after failing to raise £1bn of new equity


Shopping centre owner Intu Properties has been unable to raise between £1bn and £1.5bn of new equity to fix its balance sheet, it has revealed in a trading update.

The business, which owns shopping centres including Intu Trafford and Intu Lakeside, was due to publish its financial results tomorrow, but it has now postponed until 12 March.

Intu was planning the equity raise to shore up its balance sheet, which has been hit by the collapse of a number of major retailers and CVAs in the past year.

The company said it had received expressions of interest to explore alternative capital structures and asset sales and will “broaden its conversations” with stakeholders to discuss the options.

The update said full year like-for-like rental income for 2019 was down by 9.1% and that guidance for 2020 remains unchanged, with a further decline but at a slower rate than 2019.

In the statement it said: “Intu has, over the past several months, engaged in extensive discussions with its shareholders and potential new investors regarding a possible equity raise of between £1 billion and £1.5 billion.

“Following these discussions Intu has concluded it is unable to proceed with an equity raise at this point. While a number of Intu’s shareholders and potential new investors indicated their support for an equity raise, the Board believes the current uncertainty in the equity markets and retail property investment markets precluded a number of potential investors from committing capital into the business and Intu was therefore unable to reach the target quantum at the current time.”

The business will continue to keep under review the “feasibility” of an equity rise.