Shopping centre owner bullish amid takeover talk

Intu Derby

The chief executive of Intu, the shopping centre owner that is the subject of a £2.9bn takeover bid, has today said its performance demonstrates “the clear differentiation between winning destinations such as intu owns and the rest”.

David Fischel highlighted the group’s “strong and resilient operational performance” in a period that has continued to be challenging for retailers.

Department stores including House of Fraser and Debenhams alongside casual dining chains such as Carluccio’s and Patisserie Valerie have been among the high-profile names to face difficulties in recent months.

Intu has Merry Hill, Nottingham’s Broadmarsh and Victoria Centres and Intu Derby among its portfolio of 18 UK shopping centres. It has continued to see improvements in its key metrics.

Fischel said: “We agreed 84 long-term leases in the period at rental levels 8 per cent above previous passing rent and have increased occupancy by 0.4 per cent to 97 per cent. Key fashion retailers continue to be attracted to our winning locations, with names such as Monki, Bershka and Ralph Lauren signing up in the period.

“In September, we opened the £180m retail and leisure extension of intu Watford, 90 per cent let or in advanced negotiations, as we constantly innovate and invest to ensure our business anticipates and adapts to changing consumer trends.”

A consortium made up of The Peel Group, Olayan Group and Brookfield Property Group, and includes intu director John Whittaker who already owns 27% of the company, has made two indicative proposals to takeover intu, at 205p and 215p.

It has until November 1 to make a firm offer.