Intu, shopping centre giant, in talks to raise up to £1bn

Trafford Centre

Shopping centre operator Intu Properties plc confirmed on Monday it is in talks with shareholders and potential new investors to raise funds to shore up its balance sheet.

Intu runs Manchester’s Trafford Centre and Arndale Centre, Newcastle’s Eldon Square and Gateshead’s Metrocentre.

Shares in Intu fell to a record low after it said it is seeking new equity capital by the end of February.

Intu did not say how much it is looking to raise but news reports have speculated it could be as much as £1 billion.

“Further to recent press speculation, intu properties plc continues to make progress in its strategy to fix the balance sheet,” said Intu.

“Consistent with previous announcements, this now includes targeting an equity raise alongside its full year results at the end of February.

“The company is currently engaged in constructive discussions with both shareholders and potential new investors on the proposed equity raise …”

Numis Securities analyst Robbie Duncan said: “The dilution (effect) of raising 1 billion pounds, or 3.2 times the current market cap, will effectively write off those investors who do not participate, but our concern is that this is not enough.”

Into CEO Matthew Roberts said: “We are making good progress with fixing the balance sheet, our number one priority, and are confident we have the right strategy in place to enable us to prosper as we see continued polarisation between the best destinations and the rest.”