Owner of 4 St. Louis-area malls plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

A release from CBL & Associates says after "diversifying our sources of revenue and transforming our properties from traditional enclosed malls to suburban town centers."

Sam Masterson
August 19, 2020 - 4:41 pm

    ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The company that owns St. Clair Square, Mid-Rivers Mall, West County Center and South County Center plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this year. 

    Chattanooga, Tennessee-based CBL & Associates announced Wednesday it has reached a restructuring support agreement with debt holders, hoping to improve its bottom line as malls around the U.S. have taken a financial hit amid the COVID-19 crisis. 

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    The plan would result in the elimination of approximately $900 million of debt, extension of the company’s debt maturity schedule and a reduction in annual interest expense of more than $20 million. An in-court process expected to begin by Oct. 1.

    A statement from the company says day-to-day operations at its malls and "customers, tenants and partners can expect business as usual."

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    “Reaching this agreement with our noteholders is a major milestone for CBL,” said Stephen D. Lebovitz, Chief Executive Officer of CBL. “The agreement will significantly improve our balance sheet by reducing leverage and increasing net cash flow and will simplify our capital structure, providing enhanced financial flexibility going forward.

    “We also appreciate the confidence in the CBL organization and leadership team shown by the noteholders as we’ve worked collaboratively to find a solution that benefits all company stakeholders. Our goal is for this process to proceed as smoothly and as quickly as possible with no disruption to CBL’s operations. Once the process is complete, we will emerge as a stronger and more stable company, with an enhanced ability to execute on our key strategies of diversifying our sources of revenue and transforming our properties from traditional enclosed malls to suburban town centers. As a result, we will be better positioned to grow our business over the near and long term.”

    CBL currently has approximately $220 million in cash on hand and available for sale securities.

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