Picture: INTU
Picture: INTU

UK mall owner Intu Properties, which has been struggling with a  R100bn debt pile, says it could be in breach its loan agreements in coming weeks as Covid-19 batters the property sector and prompts late rent payments from tenants.

Intu’s debt pile stood at almost £4.5bn (about R100bn) at the end of December 2019, which compares unfavourably with its market capitalisation of R1.3bn on Tuesday morning.

The group said it was seeking debt standstills with lenders, which would give it relief financial covenant testing and debt payments for a period to no later than December 31 2021.

“There can, of course, be no certainty as to whether any standstill can be achieved with all or some of the group’s creditors, or as to the terms,” Intu said.

Loan covenants refer to an agreement that imposes certain conditions on the borrower; for example, restricting them from breaching ratios used for measuring their ability to repay debt.

In morning trade on Monday, Intu’s share price was down 4.85% to 98c, having fallen almost 95% over the past 12 months.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za