Shopping Centre Giant Intu Collapses
Shopping centre giant Intu has collapsed into administration following speculation that the company’s debts have overwhelmed its day to day operations. The announcement comes after the company failed to reach a conclusion in financial restructuring negotiations with its lenders, prompting them to call in administrators.
All shares in the company, which are listed both in London and Johannesburg, have been suspended with immediate effect, following days where shares were being traded for pennies as investors quickly sold off their shares in the company. However, Intu has maintained that their shopping centres will remain open as they continue to trade under the watchful eye of KPMG.
What Caused The Collapse?
Experts have suggested that the biggest player in Intu’s collapse was the ongoing coronavirus crisis, which has decimated economies across the globe and continues to upturn the stock markets.
With more consumers staying at home and ordering goods online, the demand for shopping centres and physical stores has significantly decreased during lockdown.
However, the company had long been struggling before the coronavirus became a global health crisis – official figures state that the company was in a significant amount of debt to the tune of £4.6bn.
What Next For Intu?
There is now growing speculation that Intu will sell off some of their large amounts of retail space and perhaps even some of their most iconic shopping centres – some of which will be easier to sell than others.
However, it’s likely that landlords and property buyers will be the ones most affected by the collapse, due to the company’s complex administrative structure. It’s unclear whether the company will return to trading on the stock market any time soon.
Intu is one of the largest owners of British high street retail, with sites including the Victoria Centre in Nottingham, Trafford Centre in Manchester and the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex. With this collapse, many workers are now concerned that their jobs may be at risk.
The company employs around 3,000 people at its head office, with a further 102,000 workers employed in its shopping centres across the UK, reported The Independent. As of 2020, Intu was valued at £16m – a sharp cry from the £30bn valuation the company received in 2005.