Owners of 2 shopping centers plan to file for bankruptcy

Shoppers are shown near an advertising kiosk at the Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem, N.C. in this undated file photo. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

WINSTON-SALEM — The owner and operator of two North Carolina shopping centers has announced plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 1 with a restructuring deal already in place with most of its unsecured lenders.

Thursday’s announcement by CBL & Properties of the proposed bankruptcy plans comes the day after it reported an $81.4 million loss for the second quarter, compared with a $35 million loss a year ago, news outlets reported.

Most of CBL’s properties closed from mid-March to late May because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBL, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, owns and operates Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem and Friendly Center in Greensboro. It said “customers, tenants and partners can expect business as usual at all of CBL’s owned and managed properties.”

Tony Plath, a retired finance professor at UNC Charlotte, told the Winston-Salem Journal that the agreement between the unsecured creditors and management “is an attempt to gain a little negotiating leverage against the secured creditors in an attempt to bring them to the negotiating table.”