Britain’s biggest shopping centre-owner Intu says it is likely to appoint administrators after talks with creditors stalled.
The collapse of Intu, which owns the Trafford Centre in Manchester, the Metrocentre in Gateshead and Lakeside in Essex, would be arguably the most significant corporate casualty of the coronavirus pandemic so far.
Intu directly employs nearly 3,000 people, but is a disproportionately important player in many of the UK’s regional economic centres, with a further 102,000 people working in its 17 UK shopping centres.
Another 30,000 people work in Intu’s broader supply chain.
Its collapse would involve one of the most complex administrations seen in Britain’s property industry for years – and spark fears for a wider commercial real estate sector which has been ravaged by the coronavirus crisis.