The owner of Stoke-on-Trent’s largest shopping centre has said talks with lenders have failed to reach agreement and warned that it is on the verge of calling in administrators.
In a statement, the group said ‘insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved’.
It added: “The board is therefore considering the position of Intu with a view to protecting the interests of its stakeholders.
“This is likely to involve the appointment of administrators. A further announcement will be made as soon as possible.”
The latest development comes as department store Debenhams is expected to reopen its intu Potteries outlet this morning for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic. Its restaurant and toilets will be closed and there will be no personal shopper service.
But The Body Shop has already quit the centre after failing to reopen following the pandemic.
Intu Properties – which also owns the Trafford Centre, in Manchester – confirmed earlier this week that it had put KPMG on stand-by to act as administrators.
It is hoping to arrange a so-called standstill agreement with lenders and warned that if it cannot reach a deal ‘there is a risk that centres may have to close for a period’.
The collapse of the heavily-indebted group, which has suffered a plunge in revenues due to the lockdown, would place thousands of jobs at risk.