The boss of Intu has stepped down a week after the UK’s biggest shopping centre owner went into administration having failed to agree a last minute deal with lenders.
Administrator KPMG told staff that Matthew Roberts, who took over the top job last year after nine years as the firm’s finance chief, had quit, Sky News reported.
Having failed to secure new capital, Intu was forced to call in KPMG as its administrator a week ago.
The shopping centre landlord, which owns 17 major properties including Manchester’s Trafford Centre, had suffered as retailers were unable to pay rent during the coronavirus crisis.
However, it already had high levels of debt prior to the crisis and has been caught out by the industry’s shift to online shopping.
The commercial property giant had won a waiver on potential breaches of its debt facility on 1 May, with the new deadline due to expire at midnight tonight.
Intu had been hoping that cliff-edge talks with its lenders would result in a last-minute deal to extend the waiver, but they fell through.
Intu blamed “insufficient alignment and agreement in relation to the terms of such standstill-based agreements” for the talks’ failure and its fall into administration.
The company is a major player in the UK retail landscape, directly employing 3,000 people and providing 102,000 roles through its shopping centres.
Its centres will remain open for an initial six-month period after the administrators secured a £12m loan from creditors.