Intu scraps fundraising plans
Written by Peter Walker
Intu has given up on trying to raise up to £1.5 billion, blaming market uncertainty.
A statement from the shopping centre explained that potential investors were discouraged due to “poor conditions in the equity market” and the retail property sector.
Last month, Intu’s shares dropped by 35 per cent after Hong Kong-based Link Real Estate Investment Trust announced it was not interested in the potential fundraise.
Intu chief executive Matthew Roberts commented: “We remain focused on fixing our balance sheet in the near term to ensure this business has the financial footing it needs to realise its significant potential.
“While it is disappointing that the extreme market conditions have prevented us from moving forward with our planned equity raise, I am pleased that a number of alternative options have presented themselves during the process which we will now explore further.”
Earlier this week, Intu said it had created a new team tasked with transforming how the business will work with retail and leisure brands and improve their performance at its shopping centres. This includes four heads of partnerships, who will work on growing new business across a range of sectors.
Last July, Intu reported falling net rental income in its half-year report, mainly due to retailer administrations and Company Voluntary Arrangements. At that point it expected like-for-like net rental income, which fell 7.7 per cent to £205.2 million in the six month period ending 30 June, to be at a similar level for the rest of the year.
By September, it was revealed that Intu was exploring a buyout deal, with private equity firm and existing shareholder Orion Capital Managers named as a frontrunner.
Then in November, PwC was brought in to help advise on the restructuring of the company’s balance sheet.