// Intu is in discussions with a leading Hong Kong-based retail property investor to pay down debt
// The shopping centre owner said talks have taken place with Link Real Estate Investment Trust
// Link and Intu held “constructive discussions”
Intu has confirmed it is talks with a major Hong Kong-based retail property investor in a bid to pay down its £5 billion debt pile.
The shopping centre owner behind Lakeside and Trafford Centre said talks have taken place with Link Real Estate Investment Trust.
Link and Intu held “constructive discussions”, with biggest shareholder Peel Group also involved.
Following a year that saw retailers collapsing into administration and taking out CVAs to slash rent bills, Intu said it suffered from the demise.
Research revealed earlier this year by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) found a total of 38,100 of the jobs lost this year were down to retailers filing for administration, with Mothercare and Bonmarche among the casualties of 2019.
Another 26,500 roles were shed through CVAs, with Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group and Debenhams among the firms to shed loss-making stores.
Meanwhile, fruitful retailers such as Hotel Chocolat and Next have also demanded rent reductions, with Hotel Chocolat’s chief executive stating he is sick of being “penalised for being successful”.
Despite Intu’s woes, Springboard recently found that shopping centre footfall had risen for the first time in almost three years during January.
Customer traffic to shopping centres edged up 0.2 per cent last month, marking the first increase since March 2017. It was also only the third month in the last four years that footfall had grown.