THE company that manages two of the North East's largest shopping centres is to go into administration.

Intu, which operates the Metrocentre in Gateshead and Eldon Square in Newcastle, called in administrators on Friday after failing to agree a deal with creditors.

The company was already in difficulty prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement on Intu's website read: "On 23 June 2020, intu properties plc (“intu”) provided an update on discussions with key stakeholders to progress its standstill strategy ahead of the revolving credit facility covenant waiver expiry at 11:59 p.m. this evening, 26 June 2020.

"Since that update, discussions have continued with the intu Group’s creditors in relation to the terms of standstill-based agreements. Unfortunately, insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved on such terms.

"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."

It also confirmed that application is being made for James Robert Tucker, Michael Robert Pink and David John Pike of KPMG LLP to be appointed as joint administrators.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the shopping centres may need to close if the company went into administration. However, the centres will continue to trade under administrators KPMG.

The statement continued: "Underlying group operating companies remain unaffected and all shopping centres are continuing to trade. The intu Group’s relationships with its tenants are with these operating companies, not the companies entering administration.

"The shopping centre operating companies have or are expected to enter into transitional services agreements with the Administrators of the central entities to ensure continuity of service provision by the central entities to the individual shopping centres."