THE owner of Glasgow’s Braehead shopping centre has seen shares plummet after an investor pulled out of talks over an emergency cash call.

Shares in debt-laden Intu Properties plunged by nearly one-third after it said Hong Kong-based retail property investor Link Real Estate Investment Trust had pulled out, just a day after confirming discussions between the pair.

Intu, whose properties also include Manchester’s Trafford Centre and the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex, said it “remains engaged” with shareholders and potential new investors over a possible equity raise, reportedly worth at least £1 billion.

Link’s withdrawal comes as a huge blow to Intu, given that the firm was understood to be in talks to become the “cornerstone” investor in the fundraising round, working alongside John Whittaker’s Peel Group, which already owns 27.3% of Intu.

Shares had climbed nearly 30% on Monday on hopes of a deal with Link. A spokesperson for Link said: “Link remains interested in opportunities in the UK, but our negotiations with Intu have not reached an agreement.”

Intu’s bosses had previously confirmed plans to announce a cash-call from shareholders and new investors at its annual results later this month as it looks to pay down its huge £5 billion debt pile.

The company has been hit by the collapse of several big-name retailers in the past year, along with others pushing through insolvency plans known as company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) to reduce rents. Other retailers have also started demanding rent reductions.

Intu owns or part-owns 18 shopping centres in the UK. As of January 31, its investment properties were valued at £8 billion.

In December 2017, the firm agreed to a takeover by property development company Hammerson for £3.4 billion, subject to shareholder approval. However, several months later Hammerson recommended its shareholders reject the proposed takeover.

With Intu hit by declining footfall and failures among major retailers, Peel Group, Olayan Group, and Brookfield Property launched a £2.8bn takeover bid in October last year but withdrew it after due diligence procedures.