Braehead to stay open as owner plunges into administration

Shopping centre will keep trading even though its owner has collapsed.

Braehead is home to a host of big-name retailers. Google 2020
Braehead is home to a host of big-name retailers.

Braehead shopping centre owner Intu has tumbled into administration after crunch talks with its lenders failed.

The firm said it had applied to appoint administrators from KPMG, after warning earlier on Friday that it was on the verge of collapse.

The confirmation came minutes after the London Stock Exchange suspended shares in the listed firm.

However, the company said its shopping centres will continue to trade for the time being despite its insolvency.

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Braehead, in Renfrew, hosts a number of big-name retailers – including M&S, Apple, Disney, Boots and Next.

At the entertainment complex Soar there is a multiplex cinema, indoor ski slope, laser tag facility, bowling alley and a number of pubs and restaurants.

Intu, which also runs the Trafford Centre in Manchester Lakeside in Essex, had been in a desperate scramble to agree a “standstill” on its current loan agreements.

Earlier on Friday the group said it was likely to appoint administrators, as it remained unable to agree the terms of such a deal with its creditors.

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In a statement, the group, which had until midnight on Friday to reach a deal, said “insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved”.

Earlier this week, Intu said it put the administrators from KPMG on stand-by as it looked to secure a deal ahead of the midnight deadline on its current loan covenants.

The group has struggled under a £4.5bn debt burden for the past year, but has been hammered by significantly lower rent payments from retail tenants since the coronavirus outbreak.

Intu employs about 3000 staff across the UK, while a further 102,000 work for the shops within its shopping centres.

It warned on Tuesday that its malls may be forced to shut if it was unable to secure the standstill agreement.


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