Intu has confirmed that it is planning to raise fresh equity next month in an effort to shore up its balance sheet.
Yesterday, the Sunday Times reported that the shopping centre owner was planning to raise £1bn as early as next month.
This morning, the company confirmed it was targeting an equity raise alongside its full year results at the end of February.
“The company is currently engaged in constructive discussions with both shareholders and potential new investors on the proposed equity raise,” it said.
At its last set of results in July, intu saw its loan-to-value (LTV) increase to 57.6% as falling property values caused net asset value to slump 19%.
By raising equity, intu hopes to pay down debt and prevent its LTV spiralling upwards. The company is working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Rothschild and UBS on the planned rights issue, according to the Sunday Times.
Intu’s chief executive Matthew Roberts also sought to reassure shareholders about the company’s recent company this morning.
“We have delivered a robust operational performance for 2019 finishing with a busy Christmas trading period,” he said.
“Total footfall in 2019 was 0.3 per cent ahead of 2018, flat in the UK which significantly outperformed the Springboard footfall monitor for shopping centres.
“Occupancy was stable at 95 per cent and to date 97 per cent of rent has been collected for the first quarter of 2020 demonstrating the lower risk of our existing customer base.”