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Intu Properties plc
Intu Group
FormerlyLiberty International plc
Capital Shopping Centres Group plc
Company typePublic limited company
ISINGB0006834344 Edit this on Wikidata
Founded1980; 44 years ago (1980)
(as Liberty International)
FounderDonald Gordon
Defunct26 June 2020; 3 years ago (26 June 2020)
FateAdministration then closure
SuccessorIntu SGS
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Area served
United Kingdom, Spain
Key people
John Strachan
John Whittaker
(former Deputy Chairman)
Matthew Roberts
(former Chief Executive Officer)
ProductsInvestment and development of shopping centres and other commercial property
Revenue£542.3 million (2019)[1]
£(1,542.7) million (2019)[1]
£0 (2020)[1]
DivisionsIntu List of Properties
SubsidiariesIntu SGS

Intu Properties plc was a British real estate investment trust (REIT), largely focused on shopping centre management and development. Originally named Transatlantic Insurance Holdings plc and later Liberty International plc, it changed its name in May 2010 to Capital Shopping Centres Group plc after demerging its Capital & Counties Properties business unit to form an independent business. The company adopted the Intu name on 18 February 2013, and this was followed by the rebranding of most of its shopping centres under the Intu title from May 2013.

The company's shares were listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges until it entered administration in June 2020. The company owned or part-owned 17 shopping centres in the UK and one in Spain prior to entering administration.


Former Liberty International logo

The company was established by Sir Donald Gordon in 1980 under the name Transatlantic Insurance Holdings plc as an offshoot of Liberty Life Association of Africa, a business he had founded in 1957.[2] The company developed into a leading investor in life assurance businesses in the 1980s and divested its remaining life assurance interests (a 29% holding in Sun Life) in 1991.[3] In 1992 it merged with Capital & Counties, a leading shopping centre developer, securing itself a listing on the London Stock Exchange.[3] It changed its name to Liberty International in 1996[3] and, after demerging Capital & Counties Properties in May 2010, renamed itself Capital Shopping Centres Group (CSC).[4]

The company also disposed of a significant holding in its Californian subsidiary Capital and Counties USA, which was acquired by Equity One in May 2010.[5] Equity One was later acquired by Regency Centers Corporation.[6]

In 2011, CSC purchased the Trafford Centre from The Peel Group and offered a 20% stake in CSC to Peel chairman John Whittaker. The 20% stake in CSC was worth approximately £700m at the time, valuing the Trafford Centre at approximately £1.65 billion.[7] Whittaker continued to purchase shares after the takeover and became the largest shareholder in 2012, with a stake of 24.63%.[8]

Former Capital Shopping Centres logo

CSC purchased the Westfield Group's 75% stake in Westfield Broadmarsh in Nottingham in November 2011.[9]

Rebrand as Intu[edit]

In January 2013, CSC announced its rebranding as Intu and the renaming of twelve of its shopping centres to incorporate the new consumer-facing brand.[10][11] A new orange and black brand identity was introduced at the same time, including a bird logo said to represent a "symbol of joy".[12] At the same time and in response to changing consumer behaviour, Intu launched the UK's first online shopping centre and insourced all shopping centre staff, previously employed by facilities management company Bilfinger Europa.[13]

The 2013 logo in landscaped form at Intu Trafford Centre

2013 to 2019[edit]

The company announced on 27 February 2013 that it had agreed to purchase Midsummer Place in Milton Keynes (now Intu Milton Keynes) from Legal & General for £250.5 million. The sale was completed by the end of March 2013.[14]

In March 2014, Intu announced that it had purchased the Merry Hill Shopping Centre and Westfield Derby for a £867.8m property deal that saw Intu take complete ownership of Westfield's Derby shopping centre and Sprucefield Park in Northern Ireland.[15]

In December 2017, the company agreed to a takeover by property development company Hammerson for £3.4 billion, subject to shareholder approval.[16] In April 2018, Hammerson recommended that its shareholders reject the proposed takeover.[17] With Intu hit by declining footfall on the high street and failures among major retailers, Peel Group, Olayan Group, and Brookfield Property launched a £2.8bn takeover bid in October, but, after due diligence procedures, they withdrew the offer in November 2018.[18]

In November 2019, Intu said it was in talks to sell three Spanish shopping centres: Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza, intu Asturias in Oviedo, and intu Xanadu in Madrid. In December 2019, it sold its share in the Zaragoza asset for €237.7 million,[19] delivering net proceeds of around €115m.[20] The following month it sold its Oviedo asset, raising around €85 million.[21]

2020 demise[edit]

In March 2020, Intu abandoned a £1.3 billion emergency cash call as not enough investors were willing to support the call. The company had £4.5 billion of debt.[22] The company subsequently warned that it could collapse if unable to raise further funds, after reporting a loss of £2bn for 2019. Intu shares had lost almost 90% of their value in a year, and the results announcement prompted a 25% drop to just over 4p.[23] On 26 March, as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted more retailers to delay rent payments to Intu, the company warned that it would need some waivers from its lenders and was likely to breach its debt covenants in July; its shares fell 11% to 3.6p in the first hour of trading following the warning.[24] On 23 June, the company warned that shopping centres might close if financial restructuring talks with lenders failed, and lined up KPMG as administrators as a "contingency".[25] On 26 June, Intu went into administration.[26]

In August, Intu SGS, a subsidiary of Intu and holding company for Intu Watford, Braehead, Victoria Centre and Lakeside, received funding to take full control of the four centres, appointing Global Mutual as asset manager and Savills as property manager.[27] Intu SGS took full control of the four centres, with Global Mutual & Savills assuming management, in October.[28] In September, the transfers of Intu Derby,[29] Merry Hill,[30] and Milton Keynes to new owners were confirmed.[31] Intu announced that Chapelfield would also be transferred to new owners, although these were not identified.[32]


The Trafford Centre was Intu's most valuable asset at £1.66 billion in 2019. Following administration June 2020, Intu's creditors took control in November 2020 forming The Trafford Centre Limited.

As of 31 December 2019 the company's investment properties were valued at £5.9 billion,[1] when Intu owned or part-owned 17 shopping centres in the UK:

Name Market value[1] (in Pound sterling) Location Ownership Fate
intu Braehead £288.9m Renfrew, Renfrewshire (near Glasgow) Intu 100% Sale to Intu SGS agreed, renamed Braehead Shopping Centre
intu Broadmarsh Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Was Intu 70%, Nottingham City Council 30% Permanently closed its doors before Intu's closure, ownership was handed back to Nottingham City Council.
intu Chapelfield £106.5m Norwich, Norfolk Intu 50%, LaSalle Investment Management 50% Management taken over by LaSalle Investment Management and mall renamed Chantry Place [33]
Intu Derby £77.3m Derby, Derbyshire Intu 50%, LaSalle Investment Management 50% 50% sold to Cale Street Investments giving them 100% ownership.[34] Mall renamed Derbion
intu Eldon Square £214.1m Newcastle, Tyne and Wear Intu 60%, Newcastle City Council 40% Management taken over by MAPP[35] and mall renamed Eldon Square
intu Lakeside £1,000.0m (£1 billion) West Thurrock, Essex (near London) Intu 100% Sale to Intu SGS agreed
intu Metrocentre £676.8m Gateshead, Tyne and Wear Intu 54%, GIC Real Estate 36%, Church Commissioners 10% Management taken over by Sovereign Centros [36]
intu Merry Hill £587.6m Dudley, West Midlands Intu 100% as of June 2016[37] Sale to Ellandi agreed
intu Milton Keynes £212.5m Milton Keynes Intu 100% Sale to Ellandi agreed
intu Potteries Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire Transferred to MAPP [38] and mall renamed The Potteries Centre
intu Trafford Centre £1,669.5m (£1.67 billion) Trafford, Greater Manchester Transferred to The Trafford Centre Limited[39] and mall renamed The Trafford Centre
intu Uxbridge Uxbridge, Greater London Intu 20%, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan 80% Management transferred to Savills and mall renamed The Chimes
intu Victoria Centre £201.0m Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Sale to Intu SGS agreed
intu Watford £324.9m Watford, Hertfordshire Intu 93%, Watford Borough Council 7% Sale to Global Mutual [40] and mall renamed atria Watford
The Mall at Cribbs Causeway £159.3m Almondsbury, Gloucestershire (near Bristol) Intu/M&G Real Estate 66%, JT Baylis 34% Intu share transferred to M&G Real Estate
Manchester Arndale Centre £309.0m Manchester, Greater Manchester Intu/M&G Real Estate 95.3%, Others 4.7% Intu share transferred to M&G Real Estate
St. David's £230.0m Cardiff Intu 50%, Land Securities 50% Intu share transferred to Land Securities
intu Xanadú £233.8m Madrid, Spain intu 50%, TH Real Estate 50% intu 50% to be sold to Northwood by the end of 2020 [41]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Results for year ended 31 December 2019". London Stock Exchange RNS. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Sir Donald Gordon - CV". Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Intu: History". Intu Properties. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017.
  4. ^ "The UK's 10 most shorted stocks". City Wire. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Equity One (EQY) Announces $600M Acquisition of Capital and Counties USA". Street Insider. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Regency Centers and Equity One Announce Closing of Merger" (Press release). Business Wire. 1 March 2017.
  7. ^ Thompson, Thomas (25 November 2010). "Trafford Centre set for £1.6bn sale to CSC group". The Independent. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Whittaker spends £2m on CSC shares". Place North West. 14 March 2012. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Westfield sells Nottingham's Broadmarsh shopping centre". BBC. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Mall owner CSC to change name to intu properties". Reuters. 15 January 2013.
  11. ^ "CSC announces new consumer brand and new online shopping portal". Intu Properties plc. 15 January 2013.
  12. ^ Trafford Centre staff get makeover as redcoats axed, Manchester Evening News, January 2013
  13. ^ "Award Winners 2015" (PDF). BIFM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Acquisition of Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes" (Press release). Intu Properties plc. 27 February 2013.
  15. ^ "Merry Hill centre bought in £407.7m deal". 20 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Shopping centres sold in £3.4bn deal". BBC News. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Bullring owner Hammerson pulls back from Intu takeover". BBC News. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Another Intu rescue deal fails". The Construction Index. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  19. ^ Collard, George (23 December 2019). "intu Properties Completes Spanish Sale To Carry On Cutting Debt". MorningStar. Allianc News. Archived from the original on 26 June 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Intu sells Spanish mall for €475m". QuotedData. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  21. ^ Jahshan, Elias (28 January 2020). "Intu sells another Spanish shopping centre for £245m". Retail Gazette. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  22. ^ Sweney, Mark (4 March 2020). "Struggling shopping centre owner Intu abandons £1bn cash call". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  23. ^ Kollewe, Julia; Partridge, Joanna (12 March 2020). "Trafford Centre and Lakeside owner warns it could go bust after £2bn loss". Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  24. ^ Hammond, George (26 March 2020). "Intu suffers as commercial tenants withhold rent". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Intu warns shopping centres may close as funding talks continue". BBC News. 23 June 2020. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  26. ^ "Shopping centre giant Intu enters administration". BBC News. BBC. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  27. ^ Nazir, Sahar (27 August 2020). "Intu SGS secures £30m to take full control of 4 Intu centres". Retail Gazette. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  28. ^ Szajna-Hopgood, Ava (19 October 2020). "Intu Lakeside, Watford, Victoria Centre and Braehead under new management". Retail Gazette. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  29. ^ Nazir, Sahar (11 September 2020). "Intu Derby becomes first of 17 centres to be snapped up since administration". Retail Gazette. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  30. ^ "Intu Merry Hill shopping centre transferred to new operator". BBC News. 17 September 2020. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  31. ^ Nazir, Sahar (25 September 2020). "Intu Milton Keynes snapped up by property group". Retail Gazette. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  32. ^ Culot, Caroline (27 September 2020). "Owners of Chapelfield shopping centre bow out – but 'no sale agreed' yet". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  33. ^ "Norwich Chapelfield shopping mall rebranded while in administration". BBC News. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  34. ^ Nazir, Sahar (11 September 2020). "Intu Derby becomes first of 17 centres to be snapped up since administration - Retail Gazette". Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  35. ^ "Eldon Square under new management following intu administration". Bdaily Business News. 15 October 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  36. ^ "Could the future be bright for the Metrocentre after new operator found?". The Northern Echo. 26 October 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  37. ^ "Merry Hill owner Intu accelerating plans for shopping centre revamp « Express & Star". Expressandstar.com. 28 July 2016. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  38. ^ Nazir, Sahar (16 October 2020). "Intu Potteries snapped up by property group following administration - Retail Gazette". Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  39. ^ "Important centre update". Intu. 10 November 2020.
  40. ^ "Takeover of intu Watford shopping centre completed (and centre could be renamed)". Watford Observer. 18 October 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  41. ^ "El fondo Northwood puja por el 50% del centro comercial Xanadú". brainsre.news (in European Spanish). 9 October 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.

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