John Whittaker Peel chairman

Whittaker ups Intu stake

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

John Whittaker has paid £4.9m to add 1.4m shares to his stake in shopping centres group Intu Properties, bringing his total ownership in the group to 22.7%.

Whittaker is chairman of Peel and non-executive non-independent deputy chairman of Intu, owner of the Intu Trafford Centre. He spent £5.2m to add 1.5m shares to his stake on 16 March, with a further £5.1m invested earlier in the month.

Whittaker and his associated companies now own 22.7% of the group. Intu Properties is valued at £4.5bn, valuing Whittaker's stake at £1bn.

The 2015 Sunday Times Rich List published on 16 March listed Whittaker as the second richest person in the North West after the Duke of Westminster.

Whittaker's Peel stands to receive a £26.1m windfall in May from Intu, with a 9.1p-a-share dividend due to be paid in cash or shares on 28 May. Peel holds 291,508,899 shares in Intu.

Intu's assets include five regional centres: Trafford Centre, Lakeside, Metrocentre, Braehead and Cribbs Causeway. There are also town and city centre malls including Manchester Arndale, St David's, Eldon Square, Watford, Victoria Centre, Midsummer Place, Chapelfield, Uxbridge, Potteries and Bromley.

Shares in Intu were priced at 343.6p, down 3.3p at 4pm on Wednesday.

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