(Bloomberg) -- CBL & Associates Properties Inc., the owner of more than 100 shopping malls across the U.S., is preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to people with knowledge of the plans.
The company has been negotiating with its lenders in an effort to enter Chapter 11 with a consensual restructuring agreement in place, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential matters. The plans aren’t final, and elements could change, the people said. CBL declined to comment.
CBL, which operates mostly so-called Class B malls, has been hurt in part by struggles of retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. and Ascena Retail Group Inc., among the landlord’s top tenants based on revenue at the end of 2019. CBL’s own financial distress shows the impact of retail-sector failures, which have come fast and furious in recent years.
Shares of CBL plunged 11% after Bloomberg reported the bankruptcy preparations, and dropped an additional 18% as of 4:40 p.m. in late New York trading.
The mall owner said in June that the loss of income from stores withholding rent during the Covid-19 pandemic had forced it to skip an interest payment due on some of its more than $3 billion debt. It has a forbearance agreement with debt-holders that was extended until July 22, according to a regulatory filing this week.
CBL bonds maturing in 2023 last traded around 25 cents on the dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Chattanooga, Tennessee-based CBL is operated and partially owned by the sons of Charles Lebovitz, who took the business public in 1993. Stephen Lebovitz, CBL’s chief executive officer, and the Lebovitz family own more than 10% of the company’s equity.
Bloomberg reported in April that CBL hired advisers Moelis & Co. and Weil Gotshal & Manges as it sought to address its debt load.
(Updates with share decline in fourth paragraph.)
For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com
Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.