Intu’s deputy chairman John Whittaker is plotting a takeover of the group following a fall of more than 40% in its share price this year.
Whittaker owns a 27% stake in the group and is planning to join forces with Canadian group Brookfield Property and Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Group to achieve the coup, according to Estates Gazette.
Intu is valued at £2bn but its share price has plummeted more than 40% after the breakdown of a takeover by rival Hammerson and amid a slowdown on the UK’s high streets and shopping centres as online shopping goes from strength to strength.
Whittaker joined the Intu board after it acquired the Trafford Centre from his company, Peel Group, in 2011, handing the group a stake in Intu and Whittaker a seat on the board.
Peel, Brookfield and Olayan, which owns a 2.6% stake in Intu, said they were “in the preliminary stages of considering a possible cash offer”. They have until 5pm on November 1 to make a formal bid.
Intu owns 14 shopping centres including the Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester, Lakeside in Essex and Eldon Square in Newcastle.