Polaris Fashion Mall owner Washington Prime files for bankruptcy reorganization, secures $100M in financing

Columbus Business First

COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–Columbus malls giant Washington Prime Group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Washington Prime, which owns 100 malls including Polaris Fashion Place, Indian Mound Mall, Dayton Mall and Mall at Fairfield Commons, is in forbearance on an interest payment that was due Feb. 15.

The company says it has secured $100 million in new debtor-in-possession financing from creditors led by SVPGlobal to support day-to-day operations during the process and “ensure that all business operations continue in the ordinary course without interruption.”

Washington Prime filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

“The company’s financial restructuring will enable WPG to right size its balance sheet and position the company for success going forward,” CEO Lou Conforti said in a release. “During the financial restructuring, we will continue to work toward maximizing the value of our assets and our operating infrastructure. The company expects operations to continue in the ordinary course for the benefit of our guests, tenants, vendors, stakeholders and colleagues.”

In March, Washington Prime reported a $262 million net loss in 2020, including a $111.4 million net loss in the fourth quarter alone. The company had $3.2 billion in debt overall as of the end of 2020, according to its most recent annual report.

The restructuring agreement provides for a deleveraging of the company’s balance sheet by nearly $950 million through the division of unsecured notes and a $190 million pay down of the company’s revolving credit and term loan facilities. The restructuring includes a $325 million equity rights offering to pay down debt. And it provides a four-year extension of the remaining credit facility debt, payment in full of all claims held by vendors and service providers, and a baseline recovery for equity holders of $40 million in cash or 6.125% of new equity.

For more business headlines, go to ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.

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