Intu, a major shopping mall operator, is planning to sell the Puerto Venecia shopping centre in Spain for €475.3 million. The buyers will be Generali Shopping Centre Fund and Union Investment Real Estate, with Intu’s share of the purchase price amounting to €237.7 million. Currently, Intu co-owns the mall with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. This sale is part of Intu’s strategy to raise capital and improve its balance sheet.
Located in Zaragoza, the Puerto Venecia shopping centre is a popular retail and leisure destination in the Aragon region, attracting 19 million visitors annually. Despite its significance, Intu is focused on its recovery strategy, which involves generating cash through asset sales. Once the debt related to the mall is repaid, working capital adjustments are made, and taxes are settled, Intu expects to receive net proceeds of around €115 million. These funds will be used to further reduce the company’s debt and lower its loan-to-value ratio by approximately 1%.
The completion of the sale is expected to take place in early 2020. Intu’s CEO, Matthew Roberts, also mentioned that the company is in advanced negotiations for the sale of Intu Asturias in Northern Spain. He highlighted that the company’s main priority is to fix its balance sheet, which includes creating liquidity through disposals. With this transaction and other asset sales in 2019, the total amount raised for the year will reach £479 million.
Intu’s decision to sell the Puerto Venecia shopping centre is a strategic move to address its financial challenges and strengthen its overall position. By divesting non-core assets and focusing on its core portfolio, the company aims to improve its financial stability and adapt to market demands. Intu remains committed to its recovery plan, prioritizing the strengthening of its balance sheet and optimizing its assets to become a more resilient player in the retail industry.