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Southern Park owner posts $55M loss

BOARDMAN — Washington Prime Group, owner / operator of the Southern Park Mall here, lost $55.4 million in the first quarter of the year, marking the second consecutive disappointing three-month period for the troubled company.

In comparison, the Columbus-based company had income of $3.4 million in the first quarter of 2020.

The company in its latest financial report also reported year-over-year revenue fell $20.7 million because of the viral outbreak, which has hamstrung traditional retail sales. The first quarter also included spending $14.5 million on legal and professional fees related to its negotiations to restructure its debt.

Washington Prime has since mid-March had in place forbearance agreements with some creditors and noteholders that own more than 67 percent of the company’s debt as it continues to restructure its finances to avoid default and bankruptcy.

The agreements were announced in the company’s fourth quarter and full-year 2020 financial results then that showed it ended the last three months of the year with a net loss of $111.4 million.

In February the company missed a $23.2 million loan payment, starting a 30-day grace period that Washington Prime let lapse without payment, but entered the period to work with stakeholders to restructure its debt. It has received four extensions on the forbearance agreements, the last of which expires today.

The restructuring, according to the latest two financial reports, may be implemented through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows a company to restructure its debt rather than liquidate to pay its bills.

“Although the company continues to be open to all discussions with the holders of the senior notes and its other stakeholders regarding a potential restructuring, there can be no assurance we will reach an agreement regarding a restructuring in a timely manner, on terms that are attractive to the company, or at all,” the financial report states.

Over the past year, Washington Prime stock has traded as high as $14.90 per share in January, but it has declined steadily, hitting a low point of $1.82 per share on March 8

business@tribtoday.com

At the close of trading Tuesday, the stock was at $1.96 per share, down 6.2 percent from Monday.

In addition to Southern Park Mall, Washington Prime owns and operates about 100 other retail centers across the U.S.

business@tribtoday.com

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