Fears for Chapelfield as Intu put administrators on standby

Intu, which owns Chapelfield - pictured before lockdown - has put KPMG on standby. Pic: Archant

Intu, which owns Chapelfield - pictured before lockdown - has put KPMG on standby. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

Shopping centre chain Intu - which owns Norwich’s Chapelfield mall - has put administrators on standby.

Intu, which employs more than 2,000 people, has seen its portfolio suffer with its tenants forced to close in March as part of lockdown.

This newspaper understands that KPMG have been called in to help prepare the company as part of contingency planning.

MORE: ‘We are truly devastated’: Restaurant will not reopen after lockdownKPMG have been called in as a preparatory measure as opposed to being appointed administrators for the business. Should the company file for administration this could trigger one of the most high-profile administrations in years, with Intu’s portfolio including 17 UK shopping centres such as Manchester’s Trafford Centre, Lakeside in Essex and the Metrocentre in Newcastle.

Intu was suffering a tough year ahead of lockdown, warning in March it could collapse if it didn’t raise enough funds to offset debt.

At the time it also revealed annual losses of £2 billion.

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It stated there was a “material uncertainty” over its ability to continue as a going concern as it faced a cash crunch, having been forced to abandon plans to raise up to £1.5 billion to pay down debts. The landlord had tried to raise the cash from investors but was rebuffed.

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