Milton Keynes shopping centre owner Intu puts administrators on 'standby'

    The owners of a shopping centre in Milton Keynes have put administrators on standby as discussions continue regarding its future.

    Intu Properties, who operate the Intu Milton Keynes shopping centre, have lined up KPMG to handle any insolvency process which may be required.

    The company employs over 2,000 people across the UK and operates other sites including the Trafford Centre and Metrocentre.

    Sky News reports that Intu has requested an 18-month standstill that would grant it relief from covenant tests and payments on debt facility maturities.

    If agreement is not given by lenders then a waiver that expires on June 26 could trigger the company's going into administration.

    It comes at a bad time for retail in Milton Keynes and the rest of the UK - with Victoria's Secret, who operate a store at Intu Milton Keynes, going into administration earlier this week.

    Debenhams have also reported that their store at Intu Milton Keynes will not be re-opening on June 15th - with the store expected to open a few days afterwards following the lockdown.

    Pret A Manger and MKFM were both asked to leave the Shopping Centre to make way for a new multi-million pound development, but questions are now being asked as to whether this will happen.

    Intu has a complex corporate structure, with its 20 shopping centre assets owned by separate special purpose vehicles against which the listed parent company borrows money to fund its operations.

    The company has about £4.5bn of debt, but a market capitalisation at Friday's closing share price of barely £126m.

    Shares in the company are down almost 90% in the last year, making it one of the London stock market's worst performers.

    Intu declined to comment to Sky News on Saturday.

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