Mall REIT Washington Prime Group is preparing for bankruptcy


Washington Prime Group CEO Louis Conforti (Twitter, iStock)

Washington Prime Group CEO Louis Conforti (Twitter, iStock)

The main owner of the shopping center is preparing for bankruptcy after failing to pay interest on his debt.

Washington Prime Group, a real estate investment fund that owns more than 100 shopping centers, is negotiating with its creditor to reduce its debt – but talks are not going well, Bloomberg News reported. The mall owner said Covid-19 could worsen its ability to repay debt in the future or jeopardize its ability to stay afloat.

In November, Lou Conforti, executive director of the REIT department store, said that filing for bankruptcy was off the table.

But a month later, the store failed. It sought to convert about $ 260 million in unsecured bonds to $ 175 million of preferred equity, but failed to reach an agreement after failing to reach an agreement with the debt holders.

Washington Prime said its rent collections fell to 52 percent in the second quarter of 2020, although collections rose to 87 percent in the third quarter.

Two of Ohio-based REIT competitors, CBL & Associates Properties and the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, went bankrupt last year.

Department stores have fought during a pandemic, because customers stayed either because they felt safer shopping online or because indoor shopping was stopped to stop the spread of coronavirus.

[Bloomberg News] – Georgia Kromrei

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