Sir Donald Gordon, founder of Liberty International, is stymying plans by Britain’s biggest shopping-centre owner to raise more than £350m to bolster its battered balance sheet.

The South African entrepreneur, whose family controls more than 22% of the business, is resisting the company’s attempts to raise more cash.

There are unconfirmed suggestions that Gordon has used part of his shareholding as security for a loan. If he does not take part, it would dilute his stake in the company. The situation is thought to have created tension in his family.

The problem of persuading Gordon to support the fundraising is thought to be one of a number of stumbling blocks that must be overcome if Liberty is to sercure the funds that it needs.

Sunday Times