John Whittaker ‘steps down from intu roles’

John Whittaker

John Whittaker, executive chairman of Manchester-based Peel Group, has reportedly stepped down as deputy chairman and non-executive director of shopping centres owner intu.

The property giant entered administration last month and trading in its shares have been suspended.

Matthew Roberts, intu chief executive, stepped down a week after the company collapsed into administration on June 26.

However, it has now been reported that John Whittaker has followed suit.

Industry sources say he has not attended intu board meetings for several months.

Mr Whittaker received a 25% stake in the business and a seat on the board when he sold the Trafford Centre shopping development to intu in 2011.

Manchester Arndale is also owned by intu.

Following administration all of intu’s non-executive directors resigned, except David Hargrave who was hired as chief restructuring officer of the business in May.

Jim Tucker, David Pike and Mike Pink from KPMG’s restructuring practice, were appointed joint administrators to intu properties plc, the listed ‘Topco’ of the intu group, in addition to eight Topco subsidiaries, on June 26.

It followed a deadline day collapse of talks with its creditors over its £4.5bn debts.

However, all intu’s 17 shopping centres remain open and trading as the joint administrators assess options for the business and assets of the group.

The business, which directly employs 2,373 people, including 370 at its head office in London, has been contacted for comment.