Milton Keynes shopping centre owners intu likely to appoint administrators
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Earlier this week, The Citizen reported that Milton Keynes intu shopping centre "may have to close" as owners battle financial crisis.
Shopping giants intu have admitted entire centres could be forced to shut for a while if talks with lenders fail.
The company, which owns a string of major shopping centres in the UK, is struggling with debts of £5b and made a loss of £2b last year.
Bosses have already lined up administrators KPMG in case restructuring talks with lenders fail.
An update issued by the firm said it had been in talks with creditors to try and seek standstill arrangements, but it added: "Unfortunately, insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved on such terms.
"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."
Intu had been struggling before coronavirus to fill outlets within some centres sites and had heavy debts.
In March it announced it was in talks with lenders about new funding and is said to be asking for an 18 month 'standstill' that would freeze interest and debt repayments.
The company, which directly employs more than 2,000 people, was struggling with debt even before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
In early March, chief executive Matthew Roberts revealed 40 per cent of of the stores in intu centres were suffering money problems and trading on reduced rent. Second quarter rents are now due this month and it is likely that intu's debts will escalate as many of the stores will struggle to pay.
More than half the stores at intu MK are now re-open after spending three months shuttered during lockdown.