Merry Hill owner to take action as 'large brands refuse to pay rent'
A number of well-known tenants are refusing to pay rent to Merry Hill shopping centre owner Intu, the company has claimed.
Intu has warned it is prepared to take “robust action” against tenants that refuse to pay rent during the coronavirus crisis after receiving just 40 per cent of rent due for the first quarter.
It is in advanced discussions with tenants representing a further 28 per cent of the amount due.
The property giant, which owns some of the country's best-known retail destinations such as the Trafford Centre and Lakeside, is offering tenants monthly rents to the end of the year and is in the process of agreeing revised payment plans with occupiers.
However Intu said it would take “robust action” against a small number of “large, well-capitalised” brands that have not paid rent.
In a statement the company said: “There are a very small number of cases where customers are not currently engaging with us to find a consensual solution – these are large, well-capitalised brands who have the ability to pay but have chosen not to.
“In these instances we are prepared to take more robust action to enforce the legally binding terms of those leases.”
Meanwhile, Intu has also appointed David Hargrave as chief restructuring officer and non-executive director as it works towards a strategy to fix its balance sheet.
The former PwC and EY specialist has more than 20 years of experience as a partner, specialising in business turnarounds across a number of sectors.
“David brings a wealth of highly relevant experience from business turnarounds and restructuring,” Intu chairman John Strachan said.
“This will be of significant benefit as we work towards fixing the balance sheet and we look forward to his contribution to the board’s deliberations.”