Owner of four St. Louis area malls plans to file for bankruptcy

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KTVI) – The company that owns West County Center, South County Center, Mid Rivers Mall, and St. Clair Square announced Wednesday that is plans to voluntarily file for Chapter 11 Protection by Oct. 1.

CBL Properties, based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, owns more than 90 properties across the U.S. It says this will not impact day-to-day operations and “customers can continue to expect business as usual,” said Stacey Keating, CBL Spokesperson email to FOX 2.

CBL will enter into a Restructuring Support Agreement (RSA).

“The RSA sets out the terms by which CBL will pursue a comprehensive restructuring allowing the company to eliminate debt, lengthen its maturity profile and simplify its capital structure,” said Keating.

The company said it has been working with advisors to strengthen their balance sheets since January but would not directly say if this filing was because of impacts from COVID-19 or online shopping.

The filling will eliminate “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.” It also contemplates getting rid of more than $600 million worth of obligation on its preferred stock in exchange for new common equity and warrants.”

“The city has been assured that it is business as usual,” said Des Peres Mayor Mark Becker. “As a city that is home to a premier mall, we always remained concerned about the long-term viability of malls.”

“We are sorry to hear actions CBL is facing.” Fairview Heights Mayor Mark Kupsky, home to St. Clair Square, said, “St. Clair Square is a well-performing mall and we are hoping they will successfully work through their reorganization.”

In April 2020, amid the height of COVID-19 impacts, CBL said it only received rent from about 27 percent of its tenants.

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