Reports that sale process has started for Trafford Centre

Trafford Centre

The Trafford Centre is reportedly set to be put up for sale, which is sure to attract the attention of John Whittaker, founder of Manchester-based property giant Peel which sold the site to current owner Intu in 2011 for £1.65bn.

Moves to put the £1.3bn asset on the market follow Intu’s collapse into administration on June 26. Previous valuations had slapped a £1.7bn price tag on the site, prior to administration.

The Trafford centre attracts 30 million visitors a year.

Sky News is reporting that the decision to seek a buyer for the centre has been forced by its biggest lender, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

It is believed that investment bank PJT Partners, and property agent CBRE have been appointed to market the Trafford Centre.

A statement issued to Sky News quoted a spokesperson for the joint administrators of Intu Properties saying: “All parties are working constructively together to maximise value for this highly attractive asset.”

On June 26, Jim Tucker, David Pike and Mike Pink from KPMG’s restructuring practice, were appointed joint administrators to Intu Properties, which owned and operated 17 shopping centres across the UK, including the Trafford Centre and Manchester Arndale, in addition to a shopping centre and development site in Spain.

Each of the shopping centres is owned individually by special purpose vehicles (Propcos) which are outside of any insolvency process and continue to trade as normal under the control of their directors.

Importantly, an agreement was reached with key stakeholders which allows continued provision of central services to the Propcos.

When KPMG was appointment Intu directly employed nearly 3,000 people, with a further 102,000 working in its UK shopping centres.

Another 30,000 people are employed in its supply chain.

KPMG managed to secure funding to continue managing Intu’s portfolio of sites for six-months.

Sky quoted property sources as saying that KPMG was working constructively with the directors of the Trafford Centre property company and its lenders to maximise the centre’s value.

One insider said the Trafford Centre was expected to attract substantial interest from the UK and international investment communities.

“Assets of Trafford’s quality and lot size do not come to market often,” said one source.

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