Intu, the owner of some of the UK’s biggest shopping centres, has said there are doubts that it can survive unless it raises extra funds, following its reported loss of £2bn in 2019.
The firm – the owner of Manchester’s Trafford Centre and Lakeside in Essex – has said it will attempt to raise extra cash after an earlier plan to raise £1bn failed. Intu has recently been left struggling to fill vacant space owing to the collapse or contraction of many high street retailers.
At the same time, Intu has run up debts of nearly £5bn, while in January, the firm approached its shareholders to ask for more money amid the downturn in the retail sector.
Last week, Intu said it was at risk of breaching debt covenants after it was forced to abandon the fundraising attempt. It said “extreme market conditions” deterred investors from giving fresh cash.
To help it keep going, the firm said it would try to engage with investors, or it might have to sell more of its assets, but the company has already been selling shopping centres to raise cash.
It has said that it could also try to seek waivers on its debt commitments to lenders and spend less in the short term.