CBL Properties said that it will seek voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 1. The filing will be made “to implement … comprehensive restructuring” to strengthen the balance sheet and organization, the company said.
Founded in 1978, CBL Properties is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn., and operates 11 properties in that state including CoolSprings Galleria and CoolSprings Crossing in Franklin, Tenn. The company’s founding family are major stockholders, and Stephen D. Lebovitz, son of the co-founder, is the chief executive officer.
Those properties and the Huntsville mall on Memorial Parkway will remain open, the company said. “Visitors … will not notice any change in our operations,” another statement said.
“Reaching this agreement with our noteholders is a major milestone for CBL,” Lebovitz said in a statement. “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.”
The plan for going forward involves “transforming our properties from traditional enclosed malls to suburban town centers,” the company’s statement said.
Malls and shopping centers like the ones operated by CBL have faced multiple threats, including online shopping trends and the coronavirus pandemic that has limited foot traffic even further. Analysts say the company was unable to decrease its debt to survive the economic downturn.
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