Trafford Centre owner Intu is on the verge of collapse as they have failed to secure funding from lenders, after trying to agree a “standstill” on current loan agreements.
Intu who also runs Lakeside in Essex are likely to appoint administrators, they said on Friday.
Intu have until midnight on Friday to reach a deal, in a statement they said, “insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved.”
Adding, “The board is therefore considering the position of Intu with a view to protecting the interests of its stakeholders.
“This is likely to involve the appointment of administrators. A further announcement will be made as soon as possible.”
The group have struggled under a £4.5bn debt burden the last year and the shares are now worth penny stocks.
The company employs around 3,000 staff in the UK with a further 102,000 who work in the shops of their shopping centres.
KPMG administrators were place on standby this week, which could see the largest company to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Adrian Palmer, professor at Henley Business School said, “Intu has confirmed that it has appointed KPMG to prepare it for possible administration at the end of this week.
“There is a real possibility that its shopping centres, including those at Trafford Centre, Lakeside and Gateshead’s Metro Centre – could shut their doors.
“Intu’s troubles are indicative of problems affecting the retail property sector which has been having a bad time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Similar to other troubled sectors, many of its current problems were firmly trending before the pandemic.
“There is little doubt about the fall from grace of retail property companies. It is not just High Streets that have been suffering, but the owners of the biggest out-of-town shopping centres have seen the value of their property valuations and share prices tumble.