Intu secures €523m loan extension contingent on equity raise

Struggling retail REIT Intu has said it has obtained a three year extension to a revolving credit facility (RCF) worth £440 mln (€523 mln), contingent on the shopping centre operator raising a minimum of £1.3 bn through a cash call.

'This extension... is a key milestone in addressing our near-term refinancing needs,' said Intu chief executive Matthew Roberts.

'It also underlines the continued support we have from our relationship banks. This revised RCF will extend the maturity profile and be used to provide general liquidity for Intu.'

Currently, the shopping centre owner and operator has a £600 mln facility with a club of lenders, due to expire in October 2021. Under the new arrangement, that sum would be replaced by a £440 mln loan expiring in 2024.

Lenders in the deal include HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of America, Barclays, Credit Suisse Group, UBS Group, and National Westminster Bank.

Intu said it was working on details of the equity raise with brokers UBS Group and BofA Securities and its financial adviser Rothschild & Co, and would update on progress when it unveils its results on 5 March.

'Fixing the balance sheet remains our number one priority and we remain engaged with shareholders and potential new investors in relation to the intended equity raise,' Roberts added.

Earlier this month, Intu saw its shares plummet to an all time low after Hong-Kong's Link REIT backed out of a potential bail-out.

Link had been considering participating in a cash call, alongside current and potential Intu shareholders, but changed its mind.

Debt-laden Intu is trying to chip away at debts of £4.7 bn. The company owns 20 shopping centres in the UK and Spain. It sold almost £500 mln of assets last year and recently offloaded Intu Asturias in the Spanish town of Oviedo for €290 mln.

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