The UK shopping centre owner, Intu has indicated it is on the verge of appointing administrators after discussions with its creditors were stalled.
The struggling business had been hamstrung by a $4.5bn debt over the past year, but in recent weeks and months has been hammered by the impact of COVID-19 and the significantly lower rent payments from retail tenants.
Sky News reports that should Intu fall into administration, it would arguably mark the biggest corporate casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. Intu is the owner of shopping centres across the country, including Manchester’s Trafford Centre and Lakeside in Essex.
The company directly employs nearly 3,000 people, with a further 102,000 people working in its 17 UK shopping centres. Another 30,000 people work in Intu’s broader supply chain.
The firm has said it had been in talks with creditors to try and seek standstill arrangements, but that “unfortunately, insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved on such terms. The board is therefore considering the position of Intu with a view to protecting the interests of its stakeholders.”