Intu appoints to chief restructuring officer to ‘fix’ balance sheets

Shopping centre owner Intu has announced the appointment of David Hargrave as chief restructuring officer to “fix” its balance sheet amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hargrave has 33 years of experience in the transaction business of ‘Big four’ accounting firms, where he held senior positions at PwC, from 1987 to 200 and EY from 2008 to 2019.

John Strachan, Intu’s chairman, said: “I am delighted to welcome David to the board of Intu. He brings a wealth of highly relevant experience from business turnarounds and restructuring. This will be of significant benefit as we work towards fixing the balance sheet and we look forward to his contribution to the board’s deliberations.”

The news comes as Intu confirmed it had agreed waivers for certain potential breaches which “could have arisen”, including in particular under its RCF. It also announced the RCF waiver is until 26 June 2020 and is subject to certain compliance conditions.

Since its update on 26 March, Intu has continued to collect rent and has now received 40% of the rent and service charge for the quarter. 

The shopping centre owner said it is now offering monthly rents to the end of the year and are in “advanced discussions” with customers representing a further 28% of the amounts due.

Intu revealed its centres are continuing to operate on a semi-closed basis with only essential shops remaining open. The company has also furloughed around 60% of staff in the centres and around 20% at its head office. 

In addition, Intu said the board has agreed to a 20% salary reduction for the next three months and centrally, it has identified around £3 million of cost savings in the short-term.

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