Intu CEO exits as crisis deepens
Matthew Roberts has stepped down as chief executive officer of Intu, one of the UK’s largest shopping centre operators which has been engulfed in turmoil since tumbling into administration last month.
Administrators at KPMG informed the company’s employees that the CEO had decided to leave the role a week after it launched insolvency proceedings, reported Sky News.
Roberts took up the top job in April last year to lead a turnaround of the company following two failed takeover bids. Prior to that, he held the role of chief financial officer for nine years.
Intu has not yet confirmed Roberts’ departure, which marks another critical moment for the business after a tough year.
Key operational staff continue to work to ensure the company’s 17 UK shopping centres are running smoothly following the easing of lockdown restrictions across England.
The business employs about 2,400 people in the UK, including 370 at its London head office. Its centres welcome around 400 million visitors each year
Joint administrators Jim Tucker, David Pike and Mike Pink are assessing options for the group and its assets, which include malls such as Lakeside in Essex and Trafford Centre in Manchester.
The coronavirus crisis and resulting lockdown only deepened Intu’s financial woes, impacting retailers’ ability to meet their rent obligations in March and June.
With net debt of over £4.6 billion and mounting losses, Intu has significant challenges ahead. According to Sky News, administrators have recently secured a £12 million cash injection from creditors to support the group for the next six months.
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