UK mall owner Intu may seek partners to help fund $1.6 bln pipeline

Tue Nov 5, 2013 2:50am EST

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LONDON Nov 5 (Reuters) - British shopping centre owner Intu Properties said it may seek partners to help it fund its 1 billion pound ($1.6 billion) pipeline of projects, and said it was seeing strong demand from retailers for space as the economy recovers.

Intu, which owns some of Britain's biggest malls, plans to invest 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) over the next 10 years to refurbish and expand its properties, which include the Lakeside centre in Essex, southern England, and Victoria centre in Nottingham.

"Funding for our 1 billion pound pipeline of projects will include recycling of existing assets as well as the possible introduction of partners into major assets," it said on Tuesday, adding that it that the program was progressing well.

The company, which changed its name from Capital Shopping Centres in February, said occupancy in the period July 1 to Nov. 5 was unchanged from June at 95 percent by rent, and that it had signed 57 long-term leases in the quarter, generating 11 million pounds in rent.

It also said it was encouraged by signs of improvement in the UK consumer environment which was driving retailer confidence and demand for space.

Shares in Intu closed at 345.8 pence on Monday, valuing the company at 3.34 billion pounds.

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