Braehead owner intu has confirmed it plans to ask investors for extra cash next month amid speculation it could need as much as £1 billion.
Responding to media reports over the weekend, the shopping centre landlord said it is targeting an equity raise alongside its full year results at the end of February.
“The company is currently engaged in constructive discussions with both shareholders and potential new investors on the proposed equity raise,” it added.
Matthew Roberts, intu chief executive, said: “We have delivered a robust operational performance for 2019 finishing with a busy Christmas trading period. Total footfall in 2019 was 0.3% ahead of 2018, flat in the UK which significantly outperformed the Springboard footfall monitor for shopping centres. Occupancy was stable at 95% and to date 97% of rent has been collected for the first quarter of 2020, demonstrating the lower risk of our existing customer base.
“We are making good progress with fixing the balance sheet, our number one priority, and are confident we have the right strategy in place to enable us to prosper as we see continued polarisation between the best destinations and the rest.”
The group, which also owns the Trafford centre in Manchester, has been hit hard by the troubles facing a number of retail chains which has seen stores close and rents renegotiated.