U.K. Commercial Property: Intu, KPMG Amid Debt Crisis

A shopper walks through a near-deserted Intu Trafford Centre shopping mall in Manchester, England, on March 20.

Photographer: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Intu Properties Plc, one of the U.K.’s biggest shopping center operators, appointed KPMG as its financial administrator in case it fails to negotiate a standstill agreement with lenders on debt repayments, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The appointment is a part of Intu’s contingency plan as it seeks to obtain a loan waiver until the end of next year from investors as the mall owner struggles to get rent payments from retailers amid the coronavirus-led lockdown, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The news was earlier reported by Sky News.

Intu, which owns Manchester’s Trafford Center, will be focusing on reaching an agreement with financiers for a standstill on loan repayments but will need to prepare for all eventualities. Having KPMG on standby could be part of a plan to persuade lenders to reach a deal, one person with knowledge of Intu’s operations said.

Intu Properties and KPMG declined to comment.

READ (May 18): Intu Shares Volatile on Lender Standstill Requests