Sir Philip Green: Landlord threatens rescue deal

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Shopping centre owner Intu is planning to vote against Sir Philip Green’s revised proposals to save his Arcadia retail empire.

It is understood the owner of Lakeside shopping centre does not feel Sir Philip’s offer to seek less severe cuts in rent from landlords goes far enough.

If the proposals are not passed at a landlords’ meeting on Wednesday then Top Shop owner Arcadia could fall into administration.

Intu and Arcadia refused to comment.

The shopping centre operator, which also owns the Trafford Centre and Manchester Arndale, is Arcadia’s biggest landlord with 35 of the retailer’s outlets in its properties. Arcadia’s other brands include Burton, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins.

The Arcadia restructuring would be done through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), an insolvency process that allows a business to reach an agreement with its creditors to pay off all or part of its debts.

It would involve the closure of 50 stores and see landlords take a rent cut.

Last week, a vote on Sir Philip’s proposals was postponed after some landlords, including Intu, refused to back it.

Sir Philip subsequently improved his offer to landlords by asking them to agree to rent cuts of between 25% and 50%, instead of 30% to 70% – a proposed deal which will be put to the vote on Wednesday.

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This shortfall in rent would be plugged by £9.5m provided by the Green family. However, that commitment could rise to up to £29m during the three-year period of the deal.

Intu’s opposition to the revised deal was first reported by Sky News. It is understood the company believes if it were to agree to the lower rent cuts, it would still not be fair to its other tenants which pay the full rent.

Intu will have the biggest single voice at Wednesday’s meeting, with an average 15% share of the vote across various different CVA proposals.

Arcadia needs the backing of at least 75% of votes for the revised proposals to be passed.

It has already received the backing of pensions trustees, the Pension Protection Fund and most of its suppliers.