Intu says it is on the verge of administration as talks with lenders “failed to reach agreement”.

Today (June 26), intu Properties has a deadline to negotiate breathing space with its lenders for its £4.3 billion debt.

But intu properties announced that talks with lenders failed to reach agreement and warned that it is on the verge of calling in administrators.

However the group has until midnight today to reach a deal.

In a statement, the group said: “Insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved.”

They added: “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. A further announcement will be made as soon as possible.”

The group confirmed earlier this week that they put administrators KPMG on stand-by.

It is hoping to arrange a so-called standstill agreement with lenders and warned that if it cannot reach a deal "there is a risk that centres may have to close for a period".

The collapse of the heavily-indebted group, which has suffered a plunge in revenues due to the lockdown, would place thousands of jobs at risk.

The company was not in the best shape financially before the coronavirus pandemic, but the situation has worsened because many retailers have chosen not to pay intu rent whilst the shops have been closed.

Lakeside in Essex and the Trafford Centre in Manchester are two examples of shopping centres wholly owned by intu - however intu does not own the former Harlequin in Watford outright.

Watford Borough Council has a 7 per cent stake in intu Watford, and intu has the remaining 93 per cent.

The council also has the freehold on the intu Watford site.

According to Watford Council, if intu were to go into administration, the receiver would still have to continue to comply with the lease terms whilst running centre, including paying rent to the council.

The receiver would likely look to find a buyer for the lease which would mean intu Watford could continue to stay open.