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Intu mulls over buyout possibility

Shopping complex group, Intu Properties is reportedly exploring a buyout deal following a challenging period for its estate, according to The Sunday Times.

Aref Lahham, who founded private equity firm Orion Capita, which currently holds 9.2% of shares in the Intu group, is thought to be in early discussions with Intu, sending shares soaring.

Intu has been struggling following store closures in its shopping centres, and is also battling to pay off debts of around £4.7bn.

The company reported a like-for-like 7.7% fall in net rental income from £223.1m to £205.2m for the six months ended 30 June 2019.

This latest buyout news come nearly a year after a consortium led by Peel Holdings' John Whittaker made a £2.9b on bid for Intu.

Intu was also at the centre of a failed merger with rival Hammerson, which owns Cabot Circus in 2018.

There are 14 Intu-branded shopping centres across the UK, with Intu owning 100% of seven of these and a majority stake in five more. The company also owns part of three other shopping complexes in the UK and three in Spain.