KPMG set to earn £16m from Intu administration

Big Four accountancy firm KPMG is expected to garner £16 million in fees for its handling of the administration of property empire Intu the former owner of the Braehead complex near Glasgow.

KPMG set to earn £16m from Intu administration

The fee estimate was included in a report by the joint administrators on the proposals for handling the process.

Jim TuckerDavid Pike and Mike Pink from KPMG’s restructuring practice were appointed joint administrators of the firm on June 29.

The retail landlord had been in financial restructuring talks with lenders all throughout June, however, after failing to secure a deal, trading in Intu’s shares was suspended on the London Stock Exchange on June 26.

Intu has amassed £4.5 billion of debts before the coronavirus lockdown restrictions were imposed in the UK, which accelerated a decline in rental income from retailers that were already struggling to pay their rents due to online competition, high business rates and increasing wage costs.

The firm’s complicated debt structure meant that some of its borrowing was unsecured at a corporate level. Intu also had substantial debts held at an individual asset level.

Lenders to the entities that controlled the different shopping centres owned by Intu agreed to pay KPMG for an initial period of up to six months to oversee the transfer of Intu’s staff and services.

KPMG said that it expects more than 2,000 employees to be moved across to the new owners of the individual shopping centres, along with various suppliers.

The administrator said employees should be paid all of their wage arrears up to £800 each, in addition to unlimited accrued holiday pay and some pension benefits.

KPMG has realised cash of £151m at the bank. It said it anticipated that a dividend will be available for unsecured creditors. However, it said that the “level of return and timing of any distributions to unsecured creditors is currently uncertain”.

It is estimated that the total cost of the administration is £100m, of which around £89m will be charged to the property companies which control the individual assets, The Times reports.

The KPMG report set out a series of exit route strategies that could be pursued to end the administration process. The listed strategies included placing the company into creditors’ voluntary liquidation and applying to court for the administration order to cease to have effect from a specified time.

KPMG’s work since securing the appointment has included preparing cashflow statements to monitor the cash position, negotiating with suppliers and customers, and liaising with agents regarding the sale of assets.

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