Intu seeking €1.2b in emergency equity raise

Struggling UK retail landlord Intu has revealed plans to raise around £1 bn (€1.2 bn) of equity next month in an emergency rights issue.

The shopping centre owner said it would launch an equity raise at the end of February, when its full-year results are due.

'The company is currently engaged in constructive discussions with both shareholders and potential new investors on the proposed equity raise,' Intu chief executive Matthew Roberts said in a statement, without revealing the exact amount being targeted.

However, media reports suggested the issue could seek as much as £1 bn from existing shareholders, by offering them further shares at cheaper prices. The company is being advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Rothschild and UBS, according to the Sunday Times.

Intu’s loan-to-value (LTV) was last reported at 57.6% as the troubled landlord deals with the onoing fallout from retailer failures and asset distress. Despite managing some £500 mln of sales in 2019, including a 50% stake in Puerto Venecia in December for €238 mln, its debt is around £5 bn. Further sales are likely to follow, with another high profile Spanish project, Intu Costa del Sol, a potential target.

Roberts also said that the firm's occupancy rate was stable at 95%, and that that 97% of rent had been collected from tenants for the first three months of 2020.

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