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Bosses Of Collapsed £4.5B Shopping Centre Giant Set Up Company … To Save Retail Schemes

Intu's Victoria Centre in Nottingham

Two of the senior leadership team at collapsed shopping centre REIT Intu have set up a new asset management company that aims to revitalise struggling town centre retail schemes.

Former Intu Chief Executive David Fischel and Centre Performance Director Martin Breeden have set up a company called Fibre Real Estate, CoStar reported.

Companies House shows that the company was incorporated at the end of last year. The firm’s website said it would focus on deal origination, master planning, asset management and sustainable development. 

Fibre was “formed to meet the challenge of revitalising town and city centres, building sustainable communities and introducing new and different uses”, according to its website. 

Fischel and Breeden were among the leadership team who oversaw the collapse into administration of Intu in June last year. KPMG was appointed to manage the process, with Intu owing lenders more than £4.5B, making it one of the biggest insolvency processes in UK real estate history.

The company’s assets are likely to be worth far less than the debt — the Trafford Centre, one of Britain’s best shopping centres, could not find a buyer for more than the loan secured against it — and lenders that now own some of the UK’s best-known retail assets have appointed asset managers to recoup as much of the money they lent as possible. 

At Merry Hill, for instance, lenders led by Wells Fargo have agreed to invest £50M to add more leisure in an attempt to improve income at the centre, which is now being managed by Ellandi

Last year KPMG said that breaking up Intu would cost in excess of £100M.