intu sells another centre


intu sells another centre

Published Date: 2020-01-29 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

intu sells another centre

The shopping centre owner is disposing of assets and planning a rights issue as it tries to get its balance sheet in order.

intu Properties has sold another of its Spanish shopping centres as it continues to sort out its balance sheet and pay down expensive debt. Together with joint-venture partners Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the UK and Spanish shopping centre owner has sold the intu Asturias shopping centre in northern Spain to ECE European Prime Shopping Centre Fund II for €290 million, 3.6% above its book value of €280 million. The book value is the carrying value of an asset on a company's balance sheet. intu's share of that is €145 and it said the net proceeds of around €85 million would be used to repay debt. The transaction will reduce its loan to value by around 1%.

Last month, intu and its Canadian partner sold their jointly-owned Puerto Venecia shopping centre, with intu's share working out at €237.7 million. The sale of intu Asturias brings total disposals since the beginning of last year to nearly £600 million, including the part-disposal of intu Derby last July and sundry asset sales.

Last week, intu said it would release details of a rights issue when it releases its full-year results at the end of next month, also aimed at reining in its overstretched balance sheet. It said it was in talks with shareholders and potential new investors on the equity raise and had made progress on reducing net external debt debt, which sat at £4.71 billion at the end of its first half.

intu's shopping centres have been affected by a number of retailers entering administration and company voluntary arrangements (CVAs), putting downward pressure on rentals. CVAs were slightly worse than expected in the three months to end-September and letting activity was slower as some customers delayed decisions due to continued political and economic uncertainty in the UK.

Its shares rose 1.7% to R3.55 yesterday.

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