Southern Park Mall owner comes out of bankruptcy; DeBartolo Commons opens | News, Sports, Jobs

BOARDMAN – Washington Prime Group, the Columbus-based owner / operator of the Southern Park Mall and over 100 other malls across the United States, has emerged from bankruptcy a leaner, more stable business.

The company restructured its finances and implemented a reorganization plan, led by global investment firm SVPGlobal, which received broad support from creditors and shareholders of Washington Prime Group. The plan was approved by a Texas bankruptcy judge.

It leaves Chapter 11 with its debt reduced by nearly $ 1 billion and in a stronger liquidity position, according to the company.

“Operating as a private holding company, majority owned by SVPGlobal, WPG will be well positioned to capitalize on opportunities to improve its portfolio and strengthen its relationships with customers, tenants, lenders, partners and other constituents”, indicates a press release from the company.

In early September, the company announced that it would voluntarily delist its common and preferred shares from the New York Stock Exchange and become a private company.

With the exit from bankruptcy, there is a change of leadership; Lou Conforti is leaving his post of Managing Director.

He will be replaced on an interim basis by Mark Yale, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Washington Prime, and Josh Lindimore, the company’s executive vice president responsible for leasing.

The company and some of its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy in June after entering into restructuring support agreements with creditors who held much of Washington Prime’s debt and unsecured notes. It also secured $ 100 million in debtor-in-charge financing to continue its operations.

Dominoes started falling in February when the company missed a $ 23.2 million repayment. It then entered into forbearance agreements with some of its creditors and note holders which were repeatedly extended to avoid bankruptcy and default, but the company ultimately succumbed to Chapter 11.

Chapter 11 allows a business to reorganize its affairs, debts and assets.

Throughout the financial restructuring, the company continued to work on a $ 30 million investment in Southern Park Mall. The centerpiece is DeBartolo Commons, a 4-acre outdoor athletics and entertainment green space and event location on the south side of the mall which opens today for the third annual community day. from the mall.

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Raymond I. Langston

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