British mall operator Intu names investment chief

FILE PHOTO: The different levels of a new Debenhams department store are seen in the Intu shopping centre in Watford, Britain, September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

(Reuters) - Intu Properties Plc on Thursday named Corporate Development Director Dushyant Sangar as chief investment officer, as the shopping centre operator aims to trim debt.

Intu has been looking to preserve cash and reduce debt by selling assets after it became a target of two failed takeover bids last year. The company last week warned of a challenging year amid a string of retail collapses and Brexit uncertainties.

“A key strategic objective for us is making smart use of capital ... Dushyant will be key in delivering disciplined capital allocation across the business,” Chief Executive Matthew Roberts said.

Since joining in 2010, Sangar has worked on deals worth over 5 billion pounds, including the acquisition of intu Trafford Centre, and played a key role in Intu’s foray into Spain, the company said.

Sangar previously held roles at MGPA, a private-equity real estate investment advisory company that was bought out by BlackRock, as well as in investment banking at UBS.

Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; editing by Gopakumar Warrier