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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2023

Or

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM ____________ TO _______________

COMMISSION FILE NO. 1-12494

 

CBL & ASSOCIATES PROPERTIES, INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)

62-1545718

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 

 

 

2030 Hamilton Place Blvd., Suite 500

Chattanooga, TN

 

37421

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: 423.855.0001

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Securities registered under Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each Class

Trading

Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on

which registered

Common Stock, $0.001 par value

CBL

New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

 

 

  Yes

No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

 

 

  Yes

No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

 

 

Yes

No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

 

 

Yes

No

 

 


 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer

 

 

Accelerated filer

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

 

Smaller Reporting Company

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

 

 

  Yes

No

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

 

 

  Yes

No

 

The aggregate market value of the 18,663,002 shares of CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.'s common stock, $0.001 par value, held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2023 was $411,332,564, based on the closing price of $22.04 per share on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2023. (For this computation, the registrant has excluded the market value of all shares of its common stock reported as beneficially owned by executive officers and directors of the registrant; such exclusion shall not be deemed to constitute an admission that any such person is an “affiliate” of the registrant.)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Section 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.

 

 

   Yes

No

 

As of February 26, 2024, 32,273,350 shares of common stock were outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.’s Proxy Statement for the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference in Part III.

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Page

Number

 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

1

 

PART I

 

 

 

1.

Business

2

1A.

Risk Factors

7

1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

28

1C.

Cybersecurity

28

2.

Properties

29

3.

Legal Proceedings

42

4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

42

 

 

PART II

 

 

5.

Market For Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

43

6.

[Reserved]

44

7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

45

7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

63

8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

63

9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

63

9A.

Controls and Procedures

63

9B.

Other Information

66

9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

66

 

 

PART III

 

 

10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

67

11.

Executive Compensation

67

12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

67

13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

67

14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

67

 

 

PART IV

 

 

15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

68

16.

Form 10-K Summary

68

Index to Exhibits

125

Signatures

130

 

 

 

 


 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements included or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may be deemed “forward looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All statements other than statements of historical fact should be considered to be forward-looking statements. In many cases, these forward looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “will,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends,” “projects,” “goals,” “objectives,” “targets,” “predicts,” “plans,” “seeks,” and variations of these words and similar expressions. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the factors discussed throughout this report.

Although we believe the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and we can give no assurance that these expectations will be attained. It is possible that actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements due to a variety of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. In addition to the risk factors discussed in Part I, Item 1A of this report, and those factors noted above, such known risks and uncertainties include, without limitation:

general industry, economic and business conditions;
interest rate fluctuations;
costs and availability of capital, including debt, and capital requirements;
the ability to obtain suitable equity and/or debt financing and the continued availability of financing, in the amounts and on the terms necessary to support our future refinancing requirements and business;
costs and availability of real estate;
inability to consummate acquisition or disposition opportunities and other risks associated with acquisitions and dispositions;
competition from other companies and retail formats;
changes in retail demand and rental rates in our markets;
shifts in customer demands including the impact of online shopping;
tenant bankruptcies or store closings;
changes in vacancy rates at our properties;
changes in operating expenses;
changes in applicable laws, rules and regulations;
cyber attacks or acts of cyber terrorism;
uncertainty and economic impact of pandemics, epidemics or other public health emergencies or fear of such events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic; and
other risks referenced from time to time in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and those factors listed or incorporated by reference into this report.

This list of risks and uncertainties is only a summary and is not intended to be exhaustive. We disclaim any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in the factors affecting the forward-looking information.

1


 

PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (this "Annual Report") is being filed by CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (the "Company," "CBL," "we," "us" and "our"), a Delaware corporation. As described below, we refer to the post-emergence reorganized company as the “Successor” and the pre-emergence company as the “Predecessor.” Unless stated otherwise or the context otherwise requires, references to the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” also includes our subsidiaries.

The Company’s Business

We are a self-managed, self-administered, fully integrated real estate investment trust ("REIT"). We own, develop, acquire, lease, manage, and operate regional shopping malls, outlet centers, lifestyle centers, open-air centers and other properties. Our properties are located in 22 states, but are primarily in the southeastern and midwestern United States. We have elected to be taxed as a REIT for federal income tax purposes.

We conduct substantially all our business through CBL & Associates Limited Partnership (the "Operating Partnership"), which is a variable interest entity ("VIE"). We are the 100% owner of two qualified REIT subsidiaries, CBL Holdings I, Inc. and CBL Holdings II, Inc. CBL Holdings I, Inc. is the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership. At December 31, 2023, CBL Holdings I, Inc. owned a 1.0% general partner interest and CBL Holdings II, Inc. owned an 98.98% limited partner interest in the Operating Partnership, for a combined interest held by us of 99.98%. As of December 31, 2023, third parties owned a 0.02% limited partner interest in the Operating Partnership.

See Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements for information on our properties as of December 31, 2023. Our malls, lifestyle centers and outlet centers (the “Malls”) and our open-air centers and other property types (the "All Other" or "All Other Properties") are collectively referred to as the “properties” and individually as a “property.” The "other" property type is made up of office buildings, outparcels and hotels.

We conduct our property management and development activities through CBL & Associates Management, Inc. (the "Management Company") to comply with certain requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Internal Revenue Code"). The Operating Partnership owns 100% of the Management Company’s outstanding stock.

Rental revenues are primarily derived from leases with retail tenants and generally include fixed minimum rents, percentage rents based on tenants’ sales volumes and reimbursements from tenants for expenditures related to real estate taxes, insurance, common area maintenance ("CAM") and other recoverable operating expenses, as well as certain capital expenditures. We also generate revenues from management, leasing and development fees, sponsorships, sales of peripheral land at our properties and from sales of operating real estate assets when it is determined that we can realize an appropriate value for the assets. Proceeds from such sales are generally used to retire related indebtedness, reduce outstanding balances on our indebtedness and for general corporate purposes.

The following terms used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K will have the meanings described below:

GLA – refers to gross leasable area of space in square feet, including Anchors and Mall tenants.
Anchor – refers to a department store, other large retail store, non-retail space or theater greater than or equal to 50,000 square feet.
Junior Anchor - retail store, non-retail space or theater comprising 20,000 square feet and greater, but less than 50,000 square feet.
Inline – retail store or non-retail space comprising less than 20,000 square feet.
Freestanding – property locations that are not attached to the primary complex of buildings that comprise the mall shopping center.
Outparcel – land and freestanding developments, such as retail stores, banks and restaurants, which are generally on the periphery of our properties.

2


 

Significant Markets and Tenants

Top Five Markets

Our top five markets, based on percentage of total revenues, were as follows for the year ended December 31, 2023:

Market

 

Percentage of
Total Revenues
(1)

 

St. Louis, MO

 

 

6.8

%

Chattanooga, TN

 

 

4.6

%

Laredo, TX

 

 

4.3

%

Lexington, KY

 

 

4.2

%

Greensboro, NC

 

 

3.8

%

(1)
Includes the Company’s proportionate share of total revenues from consolidated and unconsolidated affiliates based on the ownership percentage in the respective joint venture and any other applicable terms.

Top 25 Tenants

Our top 25 tenants based on percentage of total revenues were as follows for the year ended December 31, 2023:

 

 

Tenant

 

Number of
Stores

 

 

Square
Feet

 

 

Percentage
of Total
Revenues
(1)

 

1

 

Signet Jewelers Ltd. (2)

 

 

108

 

 

 

164,271

 

 

 

2.73

%

2

 

Victoria's Secret & Co.

 

 

49

 

 

 

400,863

 

 

 

2.71

%

3

 

Foot Locker, Inc.

 

 

73

 

 

 

357,594

 

 

 

2.35

%

4

 

Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. (3)

 

 

25

 

 

 

1,462,150

 

 

 

2.32

%

5

 

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.

 

 

63

 

 

 

382,073

 

 

 

2.16

%

6

 

Bath & Body Works, Inc.

 

 

58

 

 

 

239,031

 

 

 

1.95

%

7

 

Finish Line, Inc.

 

 

38

 

 

 

210,745

 

 

 

1.61

%

8

 

Genesco Inc. (4)

 

 

76

 

 

 

152,215

 

 

 

1.54

%

9

 

The Buckle, Inc.

 

 

36

 

 

 

186,133

 

 

 

1.24

%

10

 

Luxottica Group S.P.A. (5)

 

 

79

 

 

 

178,795

 

 

 

1.22

%

11

 

The Gap, Inc.

 

 

44

 

 

 

537,209

 

 

 

1.19

%

12

 

Cinemark Corp.

 

 

9

 

 

 

467,190

 

 

 

1.17

%

13

 

Hot Topic, Inc.

 

 

100

 

 

 

249,881

 

 

 

1.04

%

14

 

Shoe Show, Inc.

 

 

29

 

 

 

379,954

 

 

 

0.94

%

15

 

Spencer Spirit Holdings, Inc.

 

 

48

 

 

 

112,483

 

 

 

0.91

%

16

 

Claire's Stores, Inc.

 

 

69

 

 

 

86,502

 

 

 

0.91

%

17

 

The TJX Companies, Inc. (6)

 

 

18

 

 

 

520,475

 

 

 

0.90

%

18

 

Express Fashions

 

 

30

 

 

 

246,437

 

 

 

0.89

%

19

 

Barnes & Noble, Inc.

 

 

16

 

 

 

457,337

 

 

 

0.84

%

20

 

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB

 

 

38

 

 

 

803,797

 

 

 

0.81

%

21

 

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc.

 

 

23

 

 

 

237,961

 

 

 

0.75

%

22

 

The Children's Place, Inc.

 

 

34

 

 

 

147,763

 

 

 

0.73

%

23

 

Focus Brands LLC (7)

 

 

66

 

 

 

47,095

 

 

 

0.72

%

24

 

Abercrombie & Fitch, Co.

 

 

28

 

 

 

189,942

 

 

 

0.71

%

25

 

Chick-fil-A, Inc.

 

 

27

 

 

 

54,895

 

 

 

0.64

%

 

 

 

 

 

1,184

 

 

 

8,272,791

 

 

 

33.02

%

(1)
Includes the Company’s proportionate share of total revenues from consolidated and unconsolidated affiliates based on the ownership percentage in the respective joint venture and any other applicable terms.
(2)
Signet Jewelers Ltd. operates Kay Jewelers, Marks & Morgan, JB Robinson, Shaw’s Jewelers, Osterman’s Jewelers, LeRoy’s Jewelers, Jared Jewelers, Belden Jewelers, Ultra Diamonds, Rogers Jewelers, Zales, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda.
(3)
Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. operates Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy and Field & Stream.
(4)
Genesco Inc. operates Journey’s, Underground by Journey’s, Shi by Journey’s, Johnston & Murphy, Hat Shack, Lids, Hat Zone and Clubhouse.
(5)
Luxottica Group S.P.A. operates Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision and Sunglass Hut.
(6)
The TJX Companies, Inc. operates T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post. In Europe, they operate T.K. Maxx and HomeSense.
(7)
Focus Brands operates certain Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Planet Smoothie locations.

3


 

Operating Strategy

We operate a diverse portfolio of dynamic properties including enclosed regional malls, outlet centers, lifestyle centers and open-air centers. Our locations are in strong mid-tier markets with a focus in the growing southeast and midwest. Approximately 30% of our 2023 same-center net operating income ("NOI") was generated by non-enclosed mall assets. Our primary objective is to operate our portfolio to maximize the long-term value of our company by generating increasing levels of NOI and improving free cash flow through a variety of methods as further discussed below.

NOI is a non-GAAP measure. For a description of NOI, a reconciliation from net income (loss) to NOI, and an explanation of why we believe this is a useful performance measure, see Non-GAAP Measure – Same-center Net Operating Income in “Results of Operations.”

Internal Growth

We look to generate internal growth through a variety of strategies. We incorporate contractual rent increases in our leases and negotiate increases in rental rates as leases mature, when possible. We aggressively pursue new tenants to maintain and grow occupancy, enhance our tenant mix to meet changing consumer demand and improve the credit quality of our tenant base. We actively manage our properties including a focus on controlling operating expenses with a goal of maintaining or improving operating margins and enhancing cash flows, while providing a high-quality customer experience. We pursue opportunities to generate ancillary revenues at our properties when space is available for shorter terms through temporary leases and license agreements, as well as advertising including sponsorships and promotional activities. These programs allow us to maximize revenues in our centers during downtime between permanent leases, as well as monetize other aspects of the property.

Asset Densification

Our strategy of owning a diverse portfolio of dynamic properties in strong mid-tier markets has served the company well as CBL’s dominant locations generate significant demand from retail and non-retail users alike. We actively evaluate unused parking fields and available land for primarily non-retail densification projects, which provides us with the opportunity to capitalize on the embedded equity value of our land and increase the overall value of our properties. We believe the addition of non-retail users drives new and additional traffic and sales to our centers, which may preserve or enhance their dominant position in the market.

Through redevelopment we capitalize on opportunities to increase the productivity of previously occupied space and enhance the overall value of the centers by re-tenanting and/or changing the use of the space, as well as aesthetic upgrades. Redevelopments may result from acquiring or regaining possession of Anchor space (such as former department stores) and re-leasing to a single user, subdividing it into multiple spaces or razing the building for new development. When evaluating a redevelopment project, we review the stand-alone cost and returns, terminal value and co-tenancy, as well as the impact that the project and new tenant(s) is expected to have on the rest of the property including the aesthetic impact and improvements to traffic, sales and leasing demand.

See Liquidity and Capital Resources section in Item 7 of this Annual Report for information on the projects completed during 2023 and under construction at December 31, 2023.

Active Portfolio Management and Asset Recycling

We actively manage our asset base with the goal of enhancing the overall quality and value of our portfolio. We regularly review our portfolio to identify assets that no longer fit our strategy or where we believe it appropriate to redeploy resources into investments with higher growth or higher return opportunities. We also selectively acquire properties, including available anchors or parcels, we believe will provide resilient cash flows or that can appreciate in value by increasing NOI through our redevelopment, leasing and management expertise.

Balance Sheet Strategy

Our balance sheet strategy is focused on reducing overall debt, extending our debt maturity schedule, limiting exposure to recourse loans and lowering our overall cost of borrowings to limit maturity risk, improve free cash flow and enhance enterprise value.

We also pursue opportunities to improve the terms of our secured property-level, mortgage loans including refinancing loans at lower interest rates and longer-term maturities. We are exploring refinancing opportunities in the open lending market, as appropriate, in addition to working with our current lenders toward favorable modifications of existing loans.

4


 

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)/Green Building Practices

CBL’s ESG efforts are led by the ESG Steering Committee, a dedicated leadership committee that focuses on ESG factors including Sustainability, Social Governance and Corporate Governance as well as reporting to CBL’s board of directors, on our website and in public filings. The members that make up this committee represent various departments within CBL, such as Management, Investor Relations, People & Culture, Public Relations and Operations Services with day-to-day efforts led by our Vice President - ESG. The Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee of CBL's board of directors is responsible for oversight of the Company’s ESG efforts. Part of our efforts includes regularly reviewing existing policies and procedures to incorporate current best practices and working to ensure compliance with new regulations including related reporting and disclosures. More information on our sustainability, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging ("DEIB"), social responsibility and community involvement initiatives is available in the Human Capital section below and on dedicated web pages at cblproperties.com/esg-commitment/overview. The information on our web site is not, and should not be considered, a part of this Form 10-K.

Environmental Matters

A discussion of the current effects and potential impacts on our business and properties of compliance with federal, state and local environmental regulations is presented in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the subheading “Risks Related to Real Estate Investments and Our Business.”

Competition

Our properties compete with various shopping facilities in attracting retailers to lease space. In addition, retailers at our properties face competition from online shopping alternatives, discount shopping centers, outlet centers, wholesale clubs, direct mail, television shopping networks and other retail shopping developments. The extent of the retail and non-retail competition varies from market to market. We work aggressively to attract customers through marketing promotions and social media campaigns. Many of our retailers have adopted an omni-channel approach which leverages sales through both digital and traditional retailing channels.

Seasonality

The shopping center business is, to some extent, seasonal in nature with tenants typically achieving the highest levels of sales during the fourth quarter due to the holiday season, which generally results in higher percentage rent income in the fourth quarter. Additionally, the Malls earn most of their “temporary” rents (rents from short-term tenants) during the holiday period. Thus, occupancy levels and revenues are generally the highest in the fourth quarter of each year. Results of operations realized in any one quarter may not be indicative of the results likely to be experienced over the course of our fiscal year.

Emergence from Bankruptcy

Beginning on November 1, 2020, CBL and the Operating Partnership, together with certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries (collectively, the “Debtors”), filed voluntary petitions (the “Chapter 11 Cases”) under chapter 11 of title 11 (“Chapter 11”) of the United States Code (the “Bankruptcy Code”) in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas (the “Bankruptcy Court”). The Bankruptcy Court authorized the Debtors to continue to operate their businesses and manage their properties as debtors-in-possession pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code. The Chapter 11 Cases are being jointly administered for procedural purposes only under the caption In re CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., et al., Case No. 20-35226.

In connection with the Chapter 11 Cases, on August 11, 2021, the Bankruptcy Court entered an order, Docket No.1397 (Confirmation Order), confirming the Debtors’ Third Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. and its Affiliated Debtors (With Technical Modifications) (as modified at Docket No. 1521, the “Plan”).

On November 1, 2021 (the “Effective Date”), the conditions to effectiveness of the Plan were satisfied and the Debtors emerged from the Chapter 11 Cases. The Company filed a notice of the Effective Date of the Plan with the Bankruptcy Court on November 1, 2021.

Equity

Common Stock

Our authorized common stock consists of 200,000,000 shares at $0.001 par value per share. We had 31,975,645 shares of common stock issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2023. In connection with the Company's emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization on the Effective Date, all equity interests of the Company issued and outstanding immediately prior to the Effective Date were deemed cancelled, discharged and of no force or effect.

5


 

Preferred Stock

Our authorized preferred stock consists of 15,000,000 shares at $0.001 par value per share. No shares of preferred stock were issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2023.

Financial Information about Segments

See Note 11 to the consolidated financial statements for information about our reportable segments.

Human Capital

We believe our people are critical to the success of our company. We are committed to providing a work environment that attracts, develops, and retains high-performing team members and to promoting a culture that allows each team member to feel respected, included and empowered. We engage with our employees regularly and in 2023 completed an employee engagement assessment. The survey netted a 77% response rate and secured CBL Great Place to Work Certification™, with 95% of employees saying it is a great place to work.

CBL does not have any employees other than its statutory officers. As of December 31, 2023, our Management Company had 396 full-time and 73 part-time employees that represented the following demographics:

19% racially diverse and 55% female.
We are proud that 4% of our workforce served in the military.
Within the team, 6% self-identify as disabled.
Generationally, the population is represented across the Gen X (253), Gen Y (123), and Baby Boomer (78) array with an emerging Gen Z (13) and a contribution by Traditionalists (2).

CBL benefits from low voluntary turnover, which remained at 8% year-over-year. 80% of employees who left voluntarily completed our exit interview process with 100% stating they would recommend working at CBL to family and friends. While we support freedom of association, we enjoy direct relationships as none of our employees are represented by a union.

To attract, retain and develop our high-performing team members, we offer compensation programs that include a mix of salaries, variable incentive bonuses and equity-based awards. To help ensure pay for performance alignment, CBL team members and their direct managers participate in an annual performance evaluation process. The evaluation process includes interactive goal setting and feedback designed to enhance performance, engagement, and professional development. Annually, we conduct a compensation analysis to ensure any pay gaps (gender, race) are reviewed and addressed. Our compensation programs are supplemented by comprehensive employment benefits as well as training and educational programs. Certain benefits are also available to part-time CBL team members.

We provide our team with learning and development opportunities including conferences, leadership programs, and other ad hoc training programs. Programs cover a variety of topics such as career development and skills training; health, well-being, and safety; DEIB; and more. We also mandate annual cybersecurity training and ethics training for all full-time employees. In 2023, CBL team members completed 6,885 hours of training.

We continued our outreach efforts in recruiting through several partnerships including:

Partnering with Transition Overwatch, which targets Veterans.
Partnering with Project Destined which targets underrepresented groups in our industry, to host an intern in our Marketing department.
Participating in Chattanooga-based STEP-UP internship program to offer two internship roles to underrepresented area high school students.

We have long maintained several employee-led programs, including CBL Community, CBL Cares, CBL Fit and CBL Social.

CBL Community is focused on initiatives that emphasize the importance and focus we place on people, the driving force behind CBL. CBL Community is pursuing internal and external endeavors to improve organizational impacts on DEIB, through education, engagement initiatives, and the creation of opportunities and partnerships with underrepresented groups. To help us identify the best approach to support these efforts, we continued to engage a third-party consulting firm that specializes in inclusive leadership practices. In 2023 CBL Community continued its Fireside Chats program, which allows team members to learn about various DEIB topics from their peers as well as subject matter experts. A strong focus in 2023 was on the mental wellbeing of our workforce. Finally, the entire CBL team participated in unconscious bias training in the first quarter of 2023.

6


 

CBL Cares partners with and supports local charitable organizations that contribute to the growth and development of the communities we serve. In 2023 we increased the number of hours CBL team members volunteer through our CBL Cares volunteer program, with team members volunteering 947 hours with non-profit organizations, an increase over 2022. In total, through volunteer hours, corporate donations and CBL Cares funds, we provided support valued at nearly $200,000 to organizations across our portfolio that work to meet the diverse needs of our communities. Lastly, through our annual United Way workplace campaign, our team contributed more than $117,500 to United Way.

CBL Fit provides advocacy of wellness for the whole person at work and CBL Social provides engagement opportunities and interconnectivity through team-based events.

Corporate Offices

Our principal executive offices are located at CBL Center, 2030 Hamilton Place Boulevard, Suite 500, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 37421 and our telephone number is (423) 855-0001.

Available Information

There is additional information about us on our web site at cblproperties.com. Electronic copies of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, as well as any amendments to those reports, are available free of charge by visiting the “Investor Relations” section of our web site. These reports are posted as soon as reasonably practical after they are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. The information on our web site is not, and should not be considered, a part of this Form 10-K.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

Set forth below are certain factors that may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Any one or more of the following factors may cause our actual results for various financial reporting periods to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by us, or on our behalf. See “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” contained herein on page 1.

RISK FACTOR SUMMARY

The following is a summary of the most significant risks relating to our business activities that we have identified. If any of these risks occur, our business, financial condition or results of operation, including our ability to generate cash and make distributions, could be materially adversely affected. For a more complete understanding of our material risk factors, this summary should be read in conjunction with the detailed description of our risk factors which follows this summary.

Risks Related to Real Estate Investments and Our Business

Real property investments are relatively illiquid and are subject to various risks, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause declines in the revenues and/or underlying value of one or more of our properties. These include, among others:
Adverse changes to national, regional and local economic conditions, including increased volatility in the capital and credit markets, as well as changes in consumer confidence and consumer spending patterns.
Possible inability to lease space in our properties on favorable terms, or at all.
Potential loss of one or more significant tenants, due to bankruptcies or consolidations in the retail industry.
Increased operating costs, such as repairs and maintenance, real property taxes, utility rates and insurance.
Adverse changes in governmental regulations and related costs, including potential significant costs related to compliance with environmental laws and disclosure requirements.
Competition from other retail facilities, and from alternatives to traditional retail such as online shopping.
Certain of our properties are subject to ownership interests held by third parties, whose interests may conflict with ours.
Inflation continues to impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Increased expenses, decreased occupancy rates, tenants converting to gross leases and requesting deferrals and rent abatements may not allow us to recover the majority of our CAM, real estate taxes and other operating expenses.
Bankruptcy of joint venture partners could impose delays and costs on us with respect to jointly owned retail properties.
We face possible risks associated with climate change, which may increase our future expenses.
An increased focus on metrics and reporting related to ESG factors may impose additional costs and expose us to new risks.
Possible terrorist activity or other acts of violence could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Social unrest and acts of vandalism or violence could adversely affect our business operations.

7


 

Our properties may be subject to impairment charges which could adversely affect our financial results.
While cybersecurity attacks, to date, have not materially impacted our financial results, future cyber attacks, cyber intrusions or other disruptions of our information technology networks could disrupt our operations, compromise confidential information and adversely impact our financial condition.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to attract and retain talented employees, and the loss of any one of our key personnel could adversely impact our business.
Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and fire, safety and other regulations may require us to make expenditures that could adversely affect our cash flows.
Uninsured losses could adversely affect us, and in the future our insurance may not cover acts of terrorism.
Our historical financial information may not be indicative of our future financial performance.
Any significant resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic or a similar threat, and governmental responses thereto, could once again materially and adversely impact or disrupt our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and performance, as could any future outbreak of another highly infectious or contagious disease.

Risks Related to Debt and Financial Markets

A deterioration of the capital and credit markets could adversely affect our ability to access funds and the capital needed to refinance debt or obtain new debt.
Our indebtedness is substantial and many of our assets are encumbered by property-level indebtedness. Both of these factors could impair our ability to obtain additional financing.
Rising interest rates could both increase our borrowing costs, thereby adversely affecting our cash flows and the amounts available for distributions to our stockholders, and decrease our stock price, if investors seek higher yields through other investments.
Various covenants in agreements governing our debt impose restrictions that may affect our ability to operate our business.
Federal and state statutes allow courts, under specific circumstances, to void guarantees and require holders of indebtedness and lenders to return payments received from guarantors.

Risks Related to Dividends and Our Stock

We cannot assure you of our ability to pay dividends or distributions in the future or the amount of any dividends or distributions.
Our ability to pay dividends on our common stock depends on the distributions we receive from our Operating Partnership, through which we conduct substantially all our business.
Distributions paid by REITs do not qualify for the reduced tax rates that apply to other corporate distributions.

Risks Related to Geographic Concentrations

Our properties are located principally in the southeastern and midwestern United States, so our business is subject generally to economic conditions in these regions and, in particular, to adverse economic developments affecting the operating results of our properties in our five largest markets.

Risks Related to Federal Income Tax Laws

We conduct a portion of our business through taxable REIT subsidiaries, which are subject to certain tax risks.
If the Operating Partnership fails to qualify as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would fail to qualify as a REIT and would suffer adverse consequences.
Complying with REIT requirements might cause us to forego otherwise attractive opportunities, and failing to qualify as a REIT would reduce our funds available for distribution to stockholders.
Transfers of our capital stock to any person in excess of the ownership limits necessary to maintain our status as a REIT would be deemed void ab initio, and those shares would automatically be transferred to the Company as trustee of a charitable trust.
We must satisfy minimum distribution requirements to maintain our status as a REIT, which may limit the amount of cash available for use in growing our business.
Transfers or issuances of equity may impair our ability to utilize the existing tax basis in our assets, our federal income tax net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes.

8


 

Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure

The ownership limit described above, as well as certain provisions in our Second Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation (our “Certificate of Incorporation”) and our Fifth Amended and Restated Bylaws (our “Bylaws”), may hinder any attempt to acquire us.
Our Certificate of Incorporation contains a provision renouncing our interest and expectancy in certain corporate opportunities identified by our non-employee directors and their affiliates.

RISKS RELATED TO REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS AND OUR BUSINESS

Real property investments are subject to various risks, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause declines in the operating revenues and/or the underlying value of one or more of our properties.

A number of factors may decrease the income generated by a retail shopping center property, including:

national, regional and local economic climates, which may be negatively impacted by loss of jobs, production slowdowns, inflation, adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, acts of violence, war, riots or terrorism, declines in residential real estate activity and other factors which tend to reduce consumer spending on retail goods;
adverse changes in levels of consumer spending, consumer confidence and seasonal spending (especially during the holiday season when many retailers generate a disproportionate amount of their annual profits);
local real estate conditions, such as an oversupply of, or reduction in demand for, retail space or retail goods, and the availability and creditworthiness of current and prospective tenants;
increased operating costs, such as increases in repairs and maintenance, real property taxes, utility rates and insurance premiums;
delays or cost increases associated with the opening of new properties or redevelopment and expansion of properties, due to higher than estimated construction costs, cost overruns, delays in receiving zoning, occupancy or other governmental approvals, lack of availability of materials and labor, weather conditions, and similar factors which may be outside our ability to control;
perceptions by retailers or shoppers of the safety, convenience and attractiveness of the shopping center;
the convenience and quality of competing retail properties and other retailing options, such as the internet and the adverse impact of online sales; and
public health emergencies, such as COVID-19, or the threat of a public health emergency, which could cause customers of our tenants to avoid public places where large crowds are in attendance, such as shopping centers and related entertainment, hotel, office or restaurant properties operated by our tenants.

In addition, other factors may adversely affect the value of our properties without affecting their current revenues, including:

an environment of rising interest rates, which could negatively impact both the value of commercial real estate such as retail shopping centers and the overall retail climate;
adverse changes in governmental regulations, such as local zoning and land use laws, environmental regulations or local tax structures that could inhibit our ability to proceed with development, expansion or renovation activities that otherwise would be beneficial to our properties;
potential environmental or other legal liabilities that reduce the amount of funds available to us for investment in our properties; and
any inability to obtain sufficient financing (including construction financing, permanent debt, secured and unsecured notes issuances, lines of credit and term loans), or the inability to obtain such financing on commercially favorable terms, to fund repayment of maturing loans, new developments, acquisitions, and property redevelopments, expansions and renovations which otherwise would benefit our properties.

9


 

Illiquidity of real estate investments could significantly affect our ability to respond to adverse changes in the performance of our properties and harm our financial condition.

Substantially all our consolidated assets consist of investments in real estate properties. Because real estate investments are relatively illiquid, our ability to quickly sell one or more properties in our portfolio in response to changing economic, financial and investment conditions is limited. The real estate market is affected by many factors, such as general economic conditions, availability of financing, interest rates and other factors, including supply and demand for space, that are beyond our control. We cannot predict whether we will be able to sell any property for the price or on the terms we set, or whether any price or other terms offered by a prospective purchaser would be acceptable to us. We also cannot predict the length of time needed to find a willing purchaser and to close the sale of a property. In addition, current economic and capital market conditions might make it more difficult for us to sell properties or might adversely affect the price we receive for properties that we do sell, as prospective buyers might experience increased costs of debt financing or other difficulties in obtaining debt financing.

Moreover, there are some limitations under federal income tax laws applicable to REITs that limit our ability to sell assets. In addition, because many of our properties are mortgaged to secure our debts, we may not be able to obtain a release of a lien on a mortgaged property without the payment of the associated debt or release price, and/or a substantial prepayment penalty, or transfer of debt to a buyer, which restricts our ability to dispose of a property, even though the sale might otherwise be desirable. Furthermore, the number of prospective buyers interested in purchasing shopping centers is limited. Therefore, if we want to sell one or more of our properties, we may not be able to dispose of it in the desired time period and may receive less consideration than we originally invested in the property.

Before a property can be sold, we may be required to make expenditures to correct defects or to make improvements. We cannot assure you that we will have funds available to correct those defects or to make those improvements, and if we cannot do so, we might not be able to sell the property, or might be required to sell the property on unfavorable terms. In acquiring a property, we might agree to provisions that materially restrict us from selling that property for a period of time or impose other restrictions, such as limitations on the amount of debt that can be placed or repaid on that property. These factors and any others that would impede our ability to respond to adverse changes in the performance of our properties could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

We may elect not to proceed with certain developments, redevelopments or expansion projects once they have been undertaken, resulting in charges that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations for the period in which the charge is taken.

We will incur various risks in connection with any developments, redevelopments or property expansions, including the risk that developments, redevelopments or expansion opportunities explored by us may be abandoned for various reasons including, but not limited to, credit disruptions that require the Company to conserve its cash until the capital markets stabilize or alternative credit or funding arrangements can be made. Developments, redevelopments or expansions also include the risk that construction costs of a project may exceed original estimates, possibly making the project unprofitable. Other risks include the risk that we may not be able to refinance construction loans which are generally with full recourse to us, the risk that occupancy rates and rents at a completed project will not meet projections and will be insufficient to make the project profitable, and the risk that we will not be able to obtain Anchor, mortgage lender and property partner approvals for certain expansion activities.

When we elect not to proceed with a development opportunity, the development costs ordinarily are charged against income for the then-current period. Any such charge could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations for the period in which the charge is taken.

Certain of our properties are subject to ownership interests held by third parties, whose interests may conflict with ours and thereby constrain us from taking actions concerning these properties which otherwise would be in the best interests of the Company and our stockholders.

We own partial interests in 7 malls, 5 outlet centers, 1 lifestyle center, 12 open-air centers, 2 office buildings, a hotel and a hotel development. Of those interests, 2 malls, 3 outlet centers, 3 open-air centers, a hotel and a hotel development are all owned by unconsolidated joint ventures and are managed by a property manager that is affiliated with the third-party partner, which receives a fee for its services. The third-party partner of each of these properties controls the cash flow distributions, although our approval is required for certain major decisions. We have interests in two outlet centers that are owned by consolidated joint ventures and managed by a property manager that is affiliated with the third-party partner, which receives a fee for its services.

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Where we serve as managing general partner (or equivalent) of the entities that own our properties, we may have certain fiduciary responsibilities to the other owners of those entities. In certain cases, the approval or consent of the other owners is required before we may sell, finance, expand or make other significant changes in the operations of such properties. To the extent such approvals or consents are required, we may experience difficulty in, or may be prevented from, implementing our plans with respect to expansion, development, financing or other similar transactions with respect to such properties.

With respect to those properties for which we do not serve as managing general partner (or equivalent), we do not have day-to-day operational control or control over certain major decisions, including leasing and the timing and amount of distributions, which could result in decisions by the managing entity that do not fully reflect our interests. This includes decisions relating to the requirements that we must satisfy in order to maintain our status as a REIT for tax purposes. However, decisions relating to sales, expansion and disposition of all or substantially all of the assets and financings are subject to approval by the Operating Partnership.

Inflation has impacted and may continue to impact our financial condition and results of operations.

Inflationary pressures pose risks to the Company’s business, tenants and the U.S. economy. Inflationary price increases could have an adverse effect on consumer spending, which could impact our tenants’ sales and, in turn, our tenants’ business operations. This could affect our tenants’ ability to pay rent and, to the extent their leases provide for additional rent based on a percentage of sales, could have either positive (based on increased prices) or negative (based on decreased consumer spending) effects on such rent. Also, inflation has caused increases in operating expenses, which could increase occupancy costs for tenants and, to the extent that we are unable to recover operating expenses from tenants, could increase operating expenses for us. In addition, if the rate of inflation exceeds the scheduled rent increases included in our leases, then our net operating income and our profitability would decrease. Further, inflationary pricing may have a negative effect on the construction costs necessary to complete our development and redevelopment projects, including, but not limited to, costs of construction materials, labor and services from third-party contractors and suppliers. Inflation also has resulted in increases in market interest rates, which not only negatively impact consumer spending and tenant investment decisions, but also increases the borrowing costs associated with our existing or any future variable-rate debt, to the extent such rates are not effectively hedged or fixed, or any future debt that we incur. Inflation might also inhibit our ability to obtain new financing or refinancing.

Increased operating expenses, decreased occupancy rates, tenants converting to gross leases and requesting deferrals and rent abatements may not allow us to recover the majority of our CAM, real estate taxes and other operating expenses from our tenants, which could adversely affect our financial position, results of operations and funds available for future distributions.

Energy costs, repairs, maintenance and capital improvements to common areas of our properties, janitorial services, administrative, property and liability insurance costs and security costs are typically allocable to our properties’ tenants. Our lease agreements typically provide that the tenant is responsible for a portion of the CAM and other operating expenses. The majority of our current leases require an equal periodic tenant reimbursement amount for our cost recoveries, which serves to fix our tenants’ CAM contributions to us. In these cases, a tenant will pay a fixed amount, or a set expense reimbursement amount, subject to annual increases, regardless of the actual amount of operating expenses. The tenant’s payment remains the same regardless of whether operating expenses increase or decrease, causing us to be responsible for any excess amounts or to benefit from any declines. As a result, the CAM and tenant reimbursements that we receive may or may not allow us to recover a substantial portion of these operating costs.

There is also a trend of more tenants moving to gross leases with periodic increases, which provide that the tenant pays a single specified amount, with no additional payments for reimbursements of the tenant’s portion of operating expenses. As a result, we are responsible for any increases in operating expenses, and benefit from any decreases in operating expenses.

Additionally, in the event that our properties are not fully occupied, we would be required to pay the portion of any operating, redevelopment or renovation expenses allocable to the vacant space(s) that would otherwise typically be paid by the residing tenant(s).

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Bankruptcy of joint venture partners could impose delays and costs on us with respect to the jointly owned retail properties.

In addition to the possible effects on our joint ventures of our having gone through the bankruptcy process, the bankruptcy of one of the other investors in any of our jointly owned shopping centers could materially and adversely affect the relevant property or properties. Under the bankruptcy laws, we would be precluded from taking some actions affecting the estate of the other investor without prior approval of the bankruptcy court, which would, in most cases, entail prior notice to other parties and a hearing in the bankruptcy court. At a minimum, the requirement to obtain court approval may delay the actions we would or might want to take. If the relevant joint venture through which we have invested in a property has incurred recourse obligations, the discharge in bankruptcy of one of the other investors might result in our ultimate liability for a greater portion of those obligations than we would otherwise bear.

We may be unable to lease space in our properties on favorable terms, or at all.

Our results of operations depend on our ability to continue to lease space in our properties, including vacant space and re-leasing space in properties where leases are expiring, optimizing our tenant mix, or leasing properties on economically favorable terms. Because we have leases expiring annually, we are continually focused on leasing our properties. Similarly, we are pursuing a strategy of replacing expiring short-term leases with long-term leases. For more information on lease expirations see Mall, Lifestyle Center and Outlet Center Lease Expirations and All Other Properties Lease Expirations.

There can be no assurance that our leases will be renewed or that vacant space will be re-leased at rates equal to or above the current average net effective rental rates or that substantial rent abatements, tenant improvements, early termination rights or below market renewal options will not be offered to attract new tenants or retain existing tenants. If the rental rates decrease, if our existing tenants do not renew their leases or if we do not re-lease a significant portion of our available space and space for which leases will expire, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

We face possible risks associated with climate change.

We may become subject to laws or regulations related to climate change, which could cause our business, results of operations and financial condition to be impacted adversely. The federal government has enacted, and some of the states and localities in which we operate may enact, certain climate change laws and regulations or have begun regulating carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions. Although these laws and regulations have not had any known material adverse effects on our business to date, they could result in substantial costs, including compliance costs, increased energy costs, retrofit costs and construction costs, including monitoring and reporting costs, and capital expenditures for environmental control facilities and other new equipment. We have implemented strategies to support our continued effort to reduce energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste production across our portfolio. We cannot predict how future laws and regulations, or future interpretations of current laws and regulations, related to climate change will affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, the potential physical impacts of climate change on our operations are highly uncertain, and would be particular to the geographic circumstances in areas in which we operate. These may include changes to global weather patterns, which could include local changes in rainfall and storm patterns and intensities, water shortages, changing sea levels and changing temperature averages or extremes. These impacts may adversely affect our properties, our business, financial condition and results of operations.

An increased focus on metrics and reporting related to ESG factors, may impose additional costs and expose us to new risks.

Investors and other stakeholders have become more focused on understanding how companies address a variety of ESG factors. As they evaluate investment decisions, many investors look not only at company disclosures but also to ESG rating systems that have been developed by third parties to allow ESG comparisons among companies. Although we participate in a number of these ratings systems, we do not participate in all such systems. The criteria used in these ratings systems may conflict and change frequently, and we cannot predict how these third parties will score us, nor can we have any assurance that they score us accurately or other companies accurately or that other companies have provided them with accurate data. We supplement our participation in ratings systems with published disclosures of our ESG activities, but some investors may desire other disclosures that we do not provide. In addition, the SEC is currently evaluating potential rule making that could mandate additional ESG disclosure and impose other requirements on us. Failure to participate in certain of the third-party ratings systems, failure to score well in those ratings systems or failure to provide certain ESG disclosures could result in reputational harm when investors compare us to other companies, and could cause certain investors to be unwilling to invest in our stock which could adversely impact our stock price.

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We may incur significant costs related to compliance with environmental laws, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and the funds available to us to pay dividends.

Under various federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations, a current or previous owner or operator of real estate may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of petroleum, certain hazardous or toxic substances on, under or in such real estate. Such laws typically impose such liability without regard to whether the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of such substances. The costs of remediation or removal of such substances may be substantial. The presence of such substances, or the failure to promptly remove or remediate such substances, may adversely affect the owner’s or operator’s ability to lease or sell such real estate or to borrow using such real estate as collateral. Persons who arrange for the disposal or treatment of hazardous or toxic substances may also be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of such substances at the disposal or treatment facility, regardless of whether such facility is owned or operated by such person. Certain laws also impose requirements on conditions and activities that may affect the environment or the impact of the environment on human health. Failure to comply with such requirements could result in the imposition of monetary penalties (in addition to the costs to achieve compliance) and potential liabilities to third parties. Among other things, certain laws require abatement or removal of friable and certain non-friable asbestos-containing materials in the event of demolition or certain renovations or remodeling. Certain laws regarding asbestos-containing materials require building owners and lessees, among other things, to notify and train certain employees working in areas known or presumed to contain asbestos-containing materials. Certain laws also impose liability for release of asbestos-containing materials into the air and third parties may seek recovery from owners or operators of real properties for personal injury or property damage associated with asbestos-containing materials. In connection with the ownership and operation of properties, we may be potentially liable for all or a portion of such costs or claims.

All our properties (but not properties for which we hold an option to purchase but do not yet own) have been subject to Phase I environmental assessments or updates of existing Phase I environmental assessments. Such assessments generally consisted of a visual inspection of the properties, review of federal and state environmental databases and certain information regarding historic uses of the property and adjacent areas and the preparation and issuance of written reports. Some of our properties contain, or contained, underground storage tanks used for storing petroleum products or wastes typically associated with automobile service or other operations conducted at our properties. Certain of our properties contain, or contained, dry-cleaning establishments utilizing solvents. Where believed to be warranted, samplings of building materials or subsurface investigations were undertaken. At certain of our properties, where warranted by the conditions, we have developed and implemented an operations and maintenance program that establishes operating procedures with respect to asbestos-containing materials. The cost associated with the development and implementation of such programs was not material. We have also obtained environmental insurance coverage at certain of our properties.

We believe that our properties are in compliance in all material respects with all federal, state and local ordinances and regulations regarding the handling, discharge and emission of hazardous or toxic substances. As of December 31, 2023, we have recorded in our consolidated financial statements a liability of $2.5 million related to potential future asbestos abatement activities at our properties which are not expected to have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations. We have not been notified by any governmental authority, and are not otherwise aware, of any material noncompliance, liability or claim relating to hazardous or toxic substances in connection with any of our present or former properties. Therefore, we have not recorded any liability related to hazardous or toxic substances. Nevertheless, it is possible that the environmental assessments available to us do not reveal all potential environmental liabilities. It is also possible that subsequent investigations will identify material contamination, that adverse environmental conditions have arisen subsequent to the performance of the environmental assessments, or that there are material environmental liabilities of which management is unaware. Moreover, no assurances can be given that (i) future laws, ordinances or regulations will not impose any material environmental liability or (ii) the current environmental condition of our properties has not been or will not be affected by tenants and occupants of our properties, by the condition of properties in the vicinity of our properties or by third parties unrelated to us, the Operating Partnership or the relevant property’s partnership.

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Possible terrorist activity or other acts of violence could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Future terrorist attacks in the United States, and other acts of violence, including domestic or international terrorism or war, might result in declining consumer confidence and spending, which could harm the demand for goods and services offered by our tenants and the values of our properties, and might adversely affect an investment in our securities. A decrease in retail demand could make it difficult for us to renew or re-lease our properties at lease rates equal to or above historical rates and, to the extent our tenants are affected, could adversely affect their ability to continue to meet obligations under their existing leases. Terrorist activities also could directly affect the value of our properties through damage, destruction or loss. Furthermore, terrorist acts might result in increased volatility in national and international financial markets, which could limit our access to capital or increase our cost of obtaining capital.

Social unrest and acts of vandalism or violence could adversely affect our business operations.

Our business may be adversely affected by social, political, and economic instability, unrest, or disruption, including protests, demonstrations, strikes, riots, civil disturbance, disobedience, insurrection and looting in geographic regions where our properties are located. Such events may result in property damage and destruction and in restrictions, curfews, or other governmental actions that could give rise to significant changes in economic conditions and cycles, which may adversely affect our financial condition and operations.

Over the last few years, there have been demonstrations and protests, some of which involved violence, looting, arson and property destruction, in cities throughout the United States. While the majority of protests have been peaceful, looting, vandalism and fires have taken place in certain places, which led to the imposition of mandatory curfews and, in some locations, deployment of the National Guard. Governmental actions taken to protect people and property, including curfews and restrictions on business operations, may disrupt operations, harm perceptions of personal well-being and increase the need for additional expenditures on security resources. The effect and frequency of the demonstrations, protests or other factors is uncertain, and we cannot assure there will not be further political or social instability in the future or that there will not be other events that could lead to further social, political and economic instability. If such events or disruptions persist for a prolonged period of time, our overall business and results of operations may be adversely affected.

Clauses in leases with certain tenants in our properties may include inducements, such as reduced rent and tenant allowance payments or other clauses such as co-tenancy or sales-based kick-out provisions, which can reduce our rents and Funds From Operations (“FFO”), and adversely impact our financial condition and results of operation and the value of our properties. This impact could be exacerbated by the loss of one or more significant tenants, due to bankruptcies or as a result of consolidations in the retail industry.

We could be adversely affected by the bankruptcy, early termination, sales performance, or closing of tenants and Anchors. Certain of our lease agreements include co-tenancy and/or sales-based kick-out provisions which allow a tenant to pay a reduced rent amount and, in certain instances, terminate the lease, if we fail to maintain certain occupancy levels or retain specified named Anchors, or if the tenant does not achieve certain specified sales targets. If occupancy or tenant sales do not meet or fall below certain thresholds, rents we are entitled to receive from our tenants could be reduced. Additionally, some tenants may have rent abatement clauses that delay rent commencement or reduce contractual rents for a prolonged period of time after initial occupancy. The effect of these clauses reduces our rents and FFO while they are applicable. We expect to continue to offer co-tenancy and rent abatement clauses in the future to attract tenants to our properties. As a result, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely impacted.

The bankruptcy of a tenant could result in the termination of its lease and potentially trigger co-tenancy or other clauses in other tenants’ leases, which would lower the amount of cash generated by that property. Replacing tenants with better performing, emerging retailers may take longer than our historical experience of re-tenanting due to their lack of infrastructure and limited experience in opening stores as well as the significant competition for such emerging brands. In addition, when a department store operating as an Anchor at one of our properties has ceased operating, in certain instances we have experienced difficulty and delay and incurred significant expense in replacing the Anchor, re-tenanting, or otherwise re-merchandising the use of the Anchor space. This difficulty can be, and in some instances has been, exacerbated if the Anchor space is owned by a third party and we are not able to acquire the space, if the third party’s plans to lease or redevelop the space do not align with our interests or the third party does not act in a timely manner to lease or redevelop the space. In addition, the Anchor’s closing may, and in some instances has, lead to reduced customer traffic and lower mall tenant sales. As a result, we may, and in some instances have, also experience difficulty or delay in leasing spaces in areas adjacent to the vacant Anchor space. The early termination or closing of tenants or Anchors for reasons other than bankruptcy could have a similar impact on the operations of our properties, although in the case of early terminations we may benefit in the short-term from lease termination income.

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Certain traditional department stores have experienced challenges including limited opportunities for new investment/openings and declining sales, which lead department stores to close stores or seek rent reductions. Department stores’ market share is declining, and their ability to drive traffic has substantially decreased. Despite traffic to our Malls, Lifestyle Centers and Outlet Centers traditionally being driven by department store Anchors, in the event of a need for replacement, it has become necessary to consider non-department store Anchors. Certain of these non-department store Anchors may demand higher allowances or other less favorable terms than a standard mall tenant due to the nature of the services/products they provide.

We are in a competitive business.

There are numerous shopping facilities that compete with our properties in attracting retailers to lease space. Our ability to attract tenants to our properties and lease space is important to our success, and difficulties in doing so can materially impact our properties’ performance. The existence of competing shopping centers could have a material adverse impact on our ability to develop, redevelop or operate properties, lease space to desirable Anchors and tenants, and on the level of rents that can be achieved. In addition, retailers at our properties face continued competition from shopping through various means and channels, including via the internet, lifestyle centers, value and outlet centers, wholesale and discount shopping clubs, and television shopping networks. Competition of this type could adversely affect our revenues and cash available for distribution to shareholders.

As new technologies emerge, the relationship among customers, retailers, and shopping centers are evolving on a rapid basis and we may not be able to adapt to such new technologies and relationships on a timely basis. Our relative size may limit the capital and resources we are willing to allocate to invest in strategic technology to enhance the mall experience, which may make our Malls relatively less desirable to anchors, mall tenants, and consumers. Additionally, a small but increasing number of tenants utilize our Malls as showrooms or as part of an omni-channel strategy (allowing customers to shop seamlessly through various sales channels). As a result, customers may make purchases through other sales channels during or immediately after visiting our Malls, with such sales not being captured currently in our tenant sales figures or monetized in our minimum or overage rents.

We compete with other major real estate investors with significant capital for attractive investment opportunities. These competitors include other REITs, investment banking firms, and private and institutional investors, some of whom have greater financial resources or have different investment criteria than we do. In particular, there is competition to acquire, develop, or redevelop highly productive retail properties. This could become even more severe as competitors gain size and economies of scale as a result of merger and consolidation activity. This competition may impair our ability to acquire, develop, or redevelop suitable properties, and to attract key retailers, on favorable terms in the future.

Many of our tenants are omni-channel retailers who also distribute their products through online sales and provide options to consumers like buy online pick up in store, buy online ship to store or buy online return to store. Our business currently is predominantly reliant on consumer demand for shopping at physical stores, and our business could be materially and adversely affected if we are unsuccessful in adapting our business to evolving consumer purchasing habits. The increased popularity of digital and mobile technologies has accelerated the transition of a percentage of market share from shopping at physical stores to web-based shopping, and the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions intended to prevent its spread significantly increased the utilization of e-commerce and may, particularly in certain market segments, accelerate the long-term penetration of pure online retail. Although a brick-and-mortar presence may have a positive impact on retailers’ online sales, the increased utilization of pure online shopping may lead to the closure of underperforming stores by retailers, which could impact our occupancy levels and the rates that tenants are willing to pay to lease our space. Additionally, the increase in online shopping may result in certain tenants underreporting sales at our properties which may materially and adversely impact our collection of overage rent. Examples may include, retailers and restaurants not reporting curbside pick-up sales or online sales fulfilled with store inventory, and tenants reducing store sales by including online returns processed in the store.

Our properties may be subject to impairment charges which could adversely affect our financial results.

We monitor events or changes in circumstances that could indicate the carrying value of a long-lived asset may not be recoverable. We use significant judgement in assessing events or circumstances which might indicate impairment, including but not limited to, changes in our intent to hold a long-lived asset over its previously estimated useful life. Changes in our intent to hold a long-lived asset has a significant impact on the estimated undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use and eventual disposition of a long-lived asset and whether a potential impairment loss shall be measured. When indicators of potential impairment are present that suggest that the carrying amounts of a long-lived asset may not be recoverable, we assess the recoverability of the asset by determining whether the asset’s carrying value will be recovered through the estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected from our use and its eventual disposition. In the event that such undiscounted future cash flows do not exceed the carrying value, we adjust the carrying value of the long-lived asset to its estimated fair value and recognize an impairment loss. The estimated fair value is calculated based on the following

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information, in order of preference, depending upon availability: (Level 1) recently quoted market prices, (Level 2) market prices for comparable properties, or (Level 3) the present value of future cash flows, including estimated salvage value. Certain of our long-lived assets may be carried at more than an amount that could be realized in a current disposition transaction. Projections of expected future operating cash flows require that we estimate future market rental income amounts subsequent to expiration of current lease agreements, property operating expenses, the number of months it takes to re-lease the property, and the number of years the property is held for investment, among other factors. As these assumptions are subject to economic and market uncertainties, they are difficult to predict and are subject to future events that may alter the assumptions used or management’s estimates of future possible outcomes. Therefore, the future cash flows estimated in our impairment analyses may not be achieved.

Breaches or other adverse cybersecurity incidents on our systems or those of our service providers or business partners could expose us to liability and lead to the loss or compromise of our information, including confidential information, sensitive information and intellectual property, and could result in a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

As a regular part of our business operations, we rely on information technology systems and network infrastructure, including the internet, to process, transmit and store electronic information and to manage or support a variety of our business processes, including financial transactions and maintenance of records. We rely on our own systems and also outsource some of our business requirements through service providers and other business partners pursuant to agreements. The risk of a security breach or disruption, particularly through cyber attack or cyber intrusion, including by internal actors, computer hackers, foreign governments and cyber terrorists, has generally increased as the number, intensity and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions from around the world have increased. Our IT networks and related systems and infrastructure – and those of our providers/partners – are essential to the operation of our business and our ability to perform day-to-day operations (including managing our building systems) and, in some cases, may be critical to the operations of certain of our tenants.

We have experienced adverse security incidents. All incidents experienced to date have been minor in scope and impact, were resolved quickly, had no material impact on the Company’s reputation, financial performance, customer or vendor relationships, and posed no material risk of potential litigation or regulatory investigations or actions. We expect unauthorized parties to continue to attempt to gain access to our systems or information, and/or those of our business partners and service providers. Cyber attacks targeting our infrastructure could result in a full or partial disruption of our operations, as well as those of our tenants.

A security incident, breach or other significant disruption involving our information technology networks and related systems could occur due to a virus or other harmful circumstance, intentional penetration or disruption of our information technology resources by a third party, natural disaster, hardware or software corruption or failure or error or poor product or vendor/developer selection (including a failure of security controls incorporated into or applied to such hardware or software), telecommunications system failure, service provider error or failure, intentional or unintentional personnel actions (including the failure to follow our security protocols), or lost connectivity to our networked resources. Such occurrences could disrupt the proper functioning of our networks and systems; result in disruption of business operations and loss of service to our tenants and customers; result in significantly decreased revenues; result in increased costs associated in obtaining and maintaining cybersecurity investigations and testing, as well as implementing protective measures and systems; result in increased insurance premiums and operating costs; result in misstated financial reports and/or missed reporting deadlines; result in our inability to properly monitor our compliance with the rules and regulations regarding our qualification as a REIT; result in the unauthorized access to, and destruction, loss, theft, misappropriation or release of proprietary, confidential, sensitive or otherwise valuable information of ours or others, which others could use to compete against us or for disruptive, destructive or otherwise harmful purposes and outcomes; result in our inability to maintain the building systems relied upon by our tenants for the efficient use of their leased space; require significant management attention and resources to remedy any damages that result; subject us to claims for breach of contract, damages, credits, penalties or termination of leases or other agreements; subject us to regulatory investigations and actions; cause harm to our competitive position and business value; and damage our reputation among our tenants and investors generally. Moreover, cyber attacks perpetrated against our Anchors and tenants, including unauthorized access to customers’ credit card data and other confidential information, could subject us to significant litigation, liability and costs, adversely impact our reputation, or diminish consumer confidence and consumer spending and negatively impact our business.

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The compromise of our or our business partners’ or service providers’ technology systems resulting in the loss, disclosure, misappropriation of, or access to, our information or that of our tenants, employees or business partners or failure to comply with ever-evolving regulatory obligations or contractual obligations with respect to such information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability or regulatory penalties under laws protecting the privacy of personal information, disruption to our operations and damage to our reputation, any or all of which could adversely affect our business. The costs to remediate breaches and similar system compromises that do occur could be material. In addition, as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, the cost of proactive defensive measures continues to increase.

Although we and our service providers/business partners have implemented processes, procedures and controls to help mitigate these risks, there can be no assurance that these measures, as well as our increased awareness of the risk of cyber incidents, will be effective or that attempted or actual security incidents, breaches or system disruptions that could be damaging to us or others will not occur. Even the most well protected information, networks, systems and facilities remain potentially vulnerable because the techniques used in such attempted security breaches evolve and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, and in some cases are designed not to be detected and, in fact, may not be detected. Accordingly, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate security barriers or other preventative measures, and thus it is impossible for us to entirely mitigate this risk. Lastly, while we have cybersecurity insurance, damages and claims arising from such incidents may not be covered, or may exceed the amount of any insurance coverage.

If a third-party vendor fails to provide agreed upon services, we may suffer losses.

We are dependent and rely on third-party vendors, including cloud providers, for redundancy of our network, system data, security and data integrity. If a vendor fails to provide services as agreed, suffers outages, business interruptions, financial difficulties or bankruptcy, we may experience service interruption, delays, or loss of information. Cloud computing is dependent upon having access to an internet connection in order to retrieve data. If a natural disaster, blackout or other unforeseen event were to occur that disrupted the ability to obtain an internet connection, we may experience a slowdown or delay in our operations. We conduct appropriate due diligence on all services providers and restrict access, use and disclosure of personal information. We engage vendors with formal written agreements clearly defining the roles of the parties and specifying privacy and data security responsibilities.

Declines in economic conditions, including increased volatility in the capital and credit markets, could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

An economic recession can result in extreme volatility and disruption of our capital and credit markets. The resulting economic environment may be affected by dramatic declines in the stock and housing markets, increases in foreclosures, unemployment and costs of living, as well as limited access to credit. This economic situation can, and most often will, impact consumer spending levels, which can result in decreased revenues for our tenants and related decreases in the values of our properties. A sustained economic downward trend could impact our tenants’ ability to meet their lease obligations due to poor operating results, lack of liquidity, bankruptcy or other reasons. Our ability to lease space and negotiate rents at advantageous rates could also be affected in this type of economic environment. Additionally, access to capital and credit markets could be disrupted over an extended period, which may make it difficult to obtain the financing we may need for future growth and/or to meet our debt service obligations as they mature. Any of these events could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Future litigation could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation.

We may from time to time be a defendant in lawsuits and regulatory proceedings relating to our business. Such litigation and proceedings may result in defense costs, settlements, fines or judgments against us, some of which may not be covered by insurance. Due to the inherent uncertainties of litigation and regulatory proceedings, we cannot accurately predict the ultimate outcome of any such litigation or proceedings. An unfavorable outcome may result in our having to pay significant fines, judgments or settlements, which, if uninsured, or if exceeding insurance coverage, could adversely impact our financial condition, cash flows, results of operations and the trading price of our common stock. Additionally, certain proceedings or the resolution of certain proceedings may affect the availability or cost of some of our insurance coverage and expose us to increased risks that would be uninsured.

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Our success depends, in part, on our ability to attract and retain talented employees, and the loss of any one of our key personnel could adversely impact our business.

The success of our business depends, in part, on the leadership and performance of our executive management team and key employees, and our ability to attract, retain and motivate talented employees could significantly impact our future performance. Competition for these individuals is intense, and we cannot assure you that we will retain our executive management team and key employees or that we will be able to attract and retain other highly qualified individuals for these positions in the future. Losing any one or more of these persons could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and fire, safety and other regulations may require us to make expenditures that could adversely affect our cash flows.

All the properties in our portfolio are required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”). Compliance with the ADA requirements could require removal of access barriers, and non-compliance could result in the imposition of fines by the United States government, awards of damages to private litigants, or both. While the tenants to whom our portfolio is leased are obligated to comply with ADA provisions, within their leased premises, if required changes within their leased premises involve greater expenditures than anticipated, or if the changes must be made on a more accelerated basis than anticipated, the ability of tenants to cover costs could be adversely affected. Furthermore, we are required to comply with ADA requirements within the common areas of the properties in our portfolio and we may not be able to pass on to our tenants any costs necessary to remediate any common area ADA issues. In addition, we are required to operate the properties in compliance with fire and safety regulations, building codes and other land use regulations, as they may be adopted by governmental agencies and bodies and become applicable to our portfolio. We may be required to make substantial capital expenditures to comply with, and we may be restricted in our ability to renovate or redevelop the properties subject to, those requirements and to comply with the provisions of the ADA. The resulting expenditures and restrictions could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and operating results.

Uninsured losses could adversely affect our financial condition, and in the future our insurance may not include coverage for acts of terrorism.

We carry a comprehensive blanket policy for general liability, property casualty (including fire, earthquake, flood and wind) and rental loss covering all of our properties, with specifications and insured limits customarily carried for similar properties. However, even insured losses could result in a serious disruption to our business and delay our receipt of revenue. Furthermore, there are some types of losses, including lease and other contract claims, as well as some types of environmental losses, that generally are not insured or are not economically insurable. If an uninsured loss or a loss in excess of insured limits occurs, we could lose all or a portion of the capital we have invested in a property, as well as the anticipated future revenues from the property. If this happens, we, or the applicable property’s partnership, may still remain obligated under guarantees provided to the lender for any mortgage debt, secured debt or other financial obligations related to the property.

We believe that the general liability and property casualty insurance policies on our properties currently include adequate coverage for losses resulting from acts of terrorism, as defined by TRIPRA. The cost of coverage for acts of terrorism is currently mitigated by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (“TRIA”). In January 2015, Congress reinstated TRIA under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 (“TRIPRA”) and extended the program through December 31, 2020. Under TRIPRA, the amount of terrorism-related insurance losses triggering the federal insurance threshold was raised from $180 million in 2019 to $200 million in 2020. Additionally, the bill increased insurers’ co-payments for losses exceeding their deductibles, in annual steps, from 19% in 2019 to 20% in 2020. Each of these changes may have the effect of increasing the cost to insure against acts of terrorism for property owners, such as the Company, notwithstanding the other provisions of TRIPRA. In December 2019, Congress further extended TRIPRA through December 31, 2027. If TRIPRA is not continued beyond 2027 or is significantly modified, we may incur higher insurance costs and experience greater difficulty in obtaining insurance that covers terrorist-related damages. Our tenants may also have similar difficulties.

Our historical financial information may not be indicative of our future financial performance.

Our capital structure was significantly altered by the Plan. Under fresh-start reporting rules, our assets and liabilities were adjusted to fair values and our accumulated deficit was restated to zero. Accordingly, under fresh-start reporting rules, our financial condition and results of operations following our emergence from Chapter 11 will not be comparable to the financial condition and results of operations reflected in our historical financial statements.

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Any significant resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic or a similar threat, and governmental responses thereto, could once again materially and adversely impact or disrupt our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and performance, as could any future outbreak of another highly infectious or contagious disease.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a material negative impact on economic and market conditions around the world, and specifically in the retail real estate sector. As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to evolve, governments and other authorities imposed measures intended to control its spread, including restrictions on freedom of movement, group gatherings and business operations such as travel bans, border closings, business closures, quarantines, stay-at-home orders, shelter-in-place orders, density limitations and social distancing measures. While these restrictions have long since been lifted, it remains possible that a significant resurgence of the threat from COVID-19, or any similar future public health emergency, could result in governments and other authorities reinstituting these measures or imposing new, more restrictive measures, in response to our tenants’ and consumers’ perception of the related risks.

Demand for retail space and the profitability of our properties depends, in part, on the ability and willingness of tenants to enter into and perform obligations under leases. Any significant resurgence of COVID-19, or a similar future public health emergency, could once again reduce the willingness of customers to visit our properties and adversely impact our tenants’ businesses based on many factors, including local transmission rates, the emergence of new variants, the development, availability, distribution, effectiveness and acceptance of existing and new vaccines, and the effectiveness and availability of cures or treatments.

The impact of a future public health emergency on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, liquidity and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations and make distributions to our shareholders could depend on additional factors, including:

the financial condition and viability of our tenants, and their ability or willingness to pay rent in full;
state, local, federal and industry-initiated tenant relief efforts that may adversely affect landlords, including us, and their ability to collect rent and/or enforce remedies for the failure to pay rent;
the increased popularity and utilization of e-commerce;
our ability to renew leases or re-lease available space in our properties on favorable terms or at all, including as a result of a deterioration in the economic and market conditions in the markets in which we own properties or due to restrictions intended to prevent the spread of any future public health emergencies, including any additional government mandated closures of businesses that frustrate our leasing activities;
a severe and prolonged disruption and instability in the global financial markets, including the debt and equity capital markets, which may adversely impact the valuation of financial assets and liabilities and affect our ability or our tenants’ ability to access capital necessary to fund business operations or repay, refinance or renew maturing liabilities on a timely basis, on attractive terms, or at all;
a reduction in the cash flows generated by our properties and the values of our properties that could result in impairments or limit our ability to dispose of them at attractive prices or obtain debt financing secured by our properties;
the complete or partial closure of one or more of our tenants’ manufacturing facilities or distribution centers, temporary or long-term disruption in our tenants’ supply chains from local and international suppliers and/or delays in the delivery of our tenants’ inventory, any of which could reduce or eliminate our tenants’ sales, cause the temporary closure of our tenants’ businesses, and/or result in their bankruptcy or insolvency;
a negative impact on consumer discretionary spending caused by high unemployment levels, reduced economic activity or a severe or prolonged recession;
our and our tenants’ ability to manage our respective businesses to the extent our and their management or personnel (including on-site employees) are impacted in significant numbers by any future public health emergency or are otherwise not willing, available or allowed to conduct work, including any impact on our tenants’ ability to deliver timely information to us that is necessary for us to make effective decisions; and
our and our tenants’ ability to ensure business continuity in the event our or our tenants’ continuity of operations plan is (i) not effective or improperly implemented or deployed or (ii) compromised due to increased cyber and remote access activity due to any future public health emergency.

To the extent any of these risks and uncertainties adversely impact us in the ways described above or otherwise, they may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described herein.

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RISKS RELATED TO DEBT AND FINANCIAL MARKETS

A deterioration of the capital and credit markets could adversely affect our ability to access funds and the capital needed to refinance debt or obtain new debt.

We are significantly dependent upon external financing to fund the growth of our business and ensure that we meet our debt servicing requirements. Our access to financing depends on the willingness of lending institutions to grant credit to us and conditions in the capital markets in general. An economic recession may cause extreme volatility and disruption in the capital and credit markets. This may make it difficult to obtain the financing we may need for future growth and/or to meet our debt service obligations as they mature. Although, we successfully obtained debt for refinancings and retirement of our maturing debt, acquisitions and the construction of new developments and redevelopments in the past, we cannot make any assurances as to whether we will be able to obtain debt in the future, or that the financing options available to us will be on favorable or acceptable terms.

Our indebtedness is substantial and could impair our ability to obtain additional financing.

At December 31, 2023, our pro-rata share of consolidated and unconsolidated debt outstanding, excluding debt discounts and deferred financing costs, was approximately $2,656.3 million. Our total share of consolidated and unconsolidated debt, excluding debt discounts and deferred financing costs, maturing in 2024, 2025 and 2026 giving effect to all maturity extensions, is approximately $106.8 million, $288.1 million and $710.1 million, respectively. Additionally, we have $69.8 million of debt, at our share, which matured prior to December 31, 2023. Two loans comprise the $69.8 million of debt that matured prior to December 31, 2023 and the property secured by each loan was placed into receivership in connection with the foreclosure process. See Note 7 and Note 8 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information.

Our leverage and the limitations imposed on us by our financing arrangements and debt service obligations could have important consequences. For example, it could:

result in the acceleration of a significant amount of debt for non-compliance with the terms of such debt or, if such debt contains cross-default or cross-acceleration provisions, other debt;
result in the loss of assets due to foreclosure or sale on unfavorable terms, which could create taxable income without accompanying cash proceeds, which could hinder our ability to meet the REIT distribution requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Code;
materially impair our ability to borrow unused amounts under financing arrangements or to obtain additional financing or refinancing on favorable terms or at all;
require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow to paying principal and interest on our indebtedness, reducing the cash flow available to fund our business, to pay dividends, including those necessary to maintain our REIT qualification, or to use for other purposes;
increase our vulnerability to an economic downturn;
limit our ability to withstand competitive pressures; or
reduce our flexibility to respond to changing business and economic conditions.

If any of the foregoing occurs, our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and prospects could be materially and adversely affected, and the trading price of our common stock or other securities could decline significantly.

Rising interest rates could both increase our borrowing costs, thereby adversely affecting our cash flows and the amounts available for distributions to our stockholders, and decrease our stock price, if investors seek higher yields through other investments.

An environment of rising interest rates could lead holders of our securities to seek higher yields through other investments, which could adversely affect the market price of our stock. One of the factors that has likely influenced the price of our stock in public markets is the annual distribution rate we pay as compared with the yields on alternative investments. In addition, increases in market interest rates could result in increased borrowing costs for us, which could be expected to adversely affect our cash flow and the amounts available for distributions to our stockholders and the Operating Partnership’s unitholders. Further, numerous other factors, such as governmental regulatory action and tax laws, could have a significant impact on the future market price of our stock.

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As of December 31, 2023, our total share of consolidated and unconsolidated variable-rate debt, excluding debt discounts and deferred financing costs, was $1,073.7 million. Increases in interest rates will increase our cash interest payments on the variable-rate debt we have outstanding from time to time. If we do not have sufficient cash flow from operations, we might not be able to make all required payments of principal and interest on our debt, which could result in a default or have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations, and which might have further adverse effects on our cash flow and our ability to make distributions to shareholders. These significant debt payment obligations might also require us to use a significant portion of our cash flow from operations to make interest and principal payments on our debt rather than for other purposes such as working capital, capital expenditures or distributions to holders of our equity securities.

We may not be able to raise capital through financing activities.

Many of our assets are encumbered by property-level indebtedness; therefore, we may be limited in our ability to raise additional capital through property-level or other financings. In addition, our ability to raise additional capital could be limited to refinancing existing secured mortgages before their maturity date which may result in yield maintenance or other prepayment penalties to the extent that the mortgage is not open for prepayment at par.

The agreements governing our debt contain various covenants that impose restrictions on us that may affect our ability to operate our business.

Other agreements that we enter into governing our debt have or will contain covenants that impose restrictions on us. These restrictions on our ability to operate our business could harm our business by, among other things, limiting our ability to take advantage of corporate opportunities. Various risks, uncertainties and events beyond our control could affect our ability to comply with these covenants. Failure to comply with any of the covenants in our existing or future financing agreements could result in a default under those agreements and under other agreements containing cross-default provisions.

We may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow to meet our debt service obligations.

Our ability to meet our debt service obligations on, and to refinance, our indebtedness, and to fund our operations, working capital, acquisitions, capital expenditures and other important business uses, depends on our ability to generate sufficient cash flow in the future. To a certain extent, our cash flow is subject to general economic, industry, financial, competitive, operating, legislative, regulatory and other factors, many of which are beyond our control.

We cannot be certain that our business will generate sufficient cash flow from operations or that future sources of cash will be available to us in an amount sufficient to enable us to meet our debt service obligations on our indebtedness, or to fund our other important business uses. Additionally, if we incur additional indebtedness in connection with future acquisitions or development projects or for any other purpose, our debt service obligations could increase significantly and our ability to meet those obligations could depend, in large part, on the returns from such acquisitions or projects, as to which no assurance can be given.

We may need to refinance all or a portion of our indebtedness, at or prior to maturity. Our ability to refinance our indebtedness or obtain additional financing will depend on, among other things:

our financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and prospects and market conditions at the time; and
restrictions in the agreements governing our indebtedness.

As a result, we may not be able to refinance any of our indebtedness, on favorable terms, or at all.

If we do not generate sufficient cash flow from operations, and additional borrowings or refinancings are not available to us, we may be unable to meet all our debt service obligations. As a result, we would be forced to take other actions to meet those obligations, such as selling properties, raising equity or delaying capital expenditures, any of which could have a material adverse effect on us. Furthermore, we cannot be certain that we will be able to effect any of these actions on favorable terms, or at all.

Despite our substantial outstanding indebtedness, we may still incur significantly more indebtedness in the future, which would exacerbate any or all the risks described above.

We may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future. To the extent that we incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, the risks associated with our substantial leverage described above, including our inability to meet our debt service obligations, would be exacerbated.

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Federal and state statutes allow courts, under specific circumstances, to void guarantees and require holders of indebtedness and lenders to return payments received from guarantors.

Under the federal bankruptcy law and comparable provisions of state fraudulent transfer laws, a guarantee could be voided and required to be returned to the guarantor, or to a fund for the benefit of the creditors of the guarantor, if, among other things, the guarantor, at the time it incurred the indebtedness evidenced by its guarantee (i) received less than reasonably equivalent value or fair consideration for the incurrence of the guarantee and (ii) one of the following was true with respect to the guarantor:

the guarantor was insolvent or rendered insolvent by reason of the incurrence of the guarantee;
the guarantor was engaged in a business or transaction for which the guarantor’s remaining assets constituted unreasonably small capital; or
the guarantor intended to incur, or believed that it would incur, debts beyond its ability to pay those debts as they mature.

In addition, any claims in respect of a guarantee could be subordinated to all other debts of that guarantor under principles of “equitable subordination,” which generally require that the claimant must have engaged in some type of inequitable conduct, the misconduct must have resulted in injury to the creditors of the debtor or conferred an unfair advantage on the claimant, and equitable subordination must not be inconsistent with other provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The measures of insolvency for purposes of these fraudulent transfer laws will vary depending upon the law applied in any proceeding to determine whether a fraudulent transfer has occurred. Generally, however, a guarantor would be considered insolvent if:

the sum of its debts, including contingent liabilities, was greater than the fair saleable value of all of its assets;
the present fair saleable value of its assets was less than the amount that would be required to pay its probable liability on its existing debts, including contingent liabilities, as they became absolute and mature; or
it could not pay its debts as they become due.

The court might also void such guarantee, without regard to the above factors, if it found that a guarantor entered into its guarantee with actual or deemed intent to hinder, delay, or defraud its creditors.

A court would likely find that a guarantor did not receive reasonably equivalent value or fair consideration for its guarantee unless it benefited directly or indirectly from the issuance or incurrence of such indebtedness. If a court voided such guarantee, holders of the indebtedness and lenders would no longer have a claim against such guarantor or the benefit of the assets of such guarantor constituting collateral that purportedly secured such guarantee. In addition, the court might direct holders of the indebtedness and lenders to repay any amounts already received from a guarantor.

RISKS RELATED TO DIVIDENDS AND OUR STOCK

We may change the dividend policy for our common stock in the future.

Depending upon our liquidity needs, we reserve the right to pay any or all of a dividend in a combination of cash and shares of common stock, to the extent permitted by any applicable revenue procedures of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). In the event that we should pay a portion of any future dividends in shares of our common stock pursuant to such procedures, taxable U.S. stockholders would be required to pay tax on the entire amount of the dividend, including the portion paid in shares of common stock, in which case such stockholders may have to use cash from other sources to pay such tax. If a U.S. stockholder sells any common stock it receives as a dividend in order to pay its taxes, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the dividend, depending on the market price of our common stock at the time of the sale. Furthermore, with respect to non-U.S. stockholders, we may be required to withhold federal tax with respect to any future dividends, including any dividends that are paid in common stock. In addition, if a significant number of our stockholders sell shares of our common stock in order to pay taxes owed on any future dividends, such sales would put downward pressure on the market price of our common stock.

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The decision to declare and pay dividends on any outstanding shares of our common stock, as well as the timing, amount and composition of any such future dividends, will be at the sole discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our earnings, taxable income, FFO, liquidity, financial condition, capital requirements, contractual prohibitions or other limitations under our then-current indebtedness, the annual distribution requirements under the REIT provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, Delaware law and such other factors as our board of directors deems relevant. Any dividends payable will be determined by our board of directors based upon the circumstances at the time of declaration. Any change in our future dividend policy could have a material adverse effect on the market price of our future outstanding common stock.

Since we conduct substantially all our operations through our Operating Partnership, our ability to pay dividends on our common stock depends on the distributions we receive from our Operating Partnership.

Because we conduct substantially all our operations through our Operating Partnership, our ability to service our debt obligations, as well as our ability to pay any future dividends on our common stock will depend almost entirely upon the earnings and cash flows of the Operating Partnership and the ability of the Operating Partnership to make distributions to us on our ownership interests in our Operating Partnership. Under the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act, the Operating Partnership is prohibited from making any distribution to us to the extent that at the time of the distribution, after giving effect to the distribution, all liabilities of the Operating Partnership (other than some non-recourse liabilities and some liabilities to the partners) exceed the fair value of the assets of the Operating Partnership.

Additionally, the terms of our secured term loan provide a waterfall calculation for distributions of excess cash flow generated by the properties secured as collateral on the term loan. The waterfall calculation generally provides that the excess cash flow be used for additional payments of principal on the secured term loan before distributions may be made for other purposes. In the event of a default, no amounts may be distributed other than to repay the outstanding balance on the secured term loan. This in turn may limit our ability to make some types of payments, including payment of dividends to our stockholders. Any inability to make cash distributions from the Operating Partnership could jeopardize our ability to pay any future dividends to our stockholders for one or more dividend periods which, in turn, could jeopardize our ability to maintain qualification as a REIT.

Distributions paid by REITs do not qualify for the reduced tax rates that apply to other corporate distributions.

The maximum tax rate for "qualified dividends" paid by corporations to non-corporate stockholders generally is 20%. Distributions paid by REITs to non-corporate stockholders generally are taxed at rates lower than ordinary income rates, but those rates are higher than the 20% tax rate on qualified dividend income paid by corporations. Although this does not adversely affect the taxation of REITs or dividends payable by REITs, to the extent that the preferential rates continue to apply to regular corporate qualified dividends, the more favorable rates for corporate dividends may cause non-corporate investors to perceive that an investment in a REIT is less attractive than an investment in a non-REIT entity that pays dividends, thereby reducing the demand and market price of shares of our common stock.

RISKS RELATED TO GEOGRAPHIC CONCENTRATIONS

Since our properties are located principally in the southeastern and midwestern United States, our financial position, results of operations and funds available for distribution to shareholders are subject generally to economic conditions in these regions and, in particular, to adverse economic developments affecting the operating results of properties in our five largest markets.

Our properties are located principally in the southeastern and midwestern United States. Our properties located in the southeastern United States accounted for approximately 51.2% of our total pro-rata share of revenues from all properties for the year ended December 31, 2023 and currently include 19 malls, 4 lifestyle centers, 2 outlet centers, 18 open-air centers, 3 office buildings and a hotel. Our properties located in the midwestern United States accounted for approximately 22.3% of our total pro-rata share of revenues from all properties for the year ended December 31, 2023 and currently include 15 malls and 2 open-air centers. Further, our properties located in our five largest metropolitan area markets – St. Louis, MO; Laredo, TX; Chattanooga, TN; Lexington, KY; and Greensboro, NC – accounted for approximately 6.8%, 4.3%, 4.6%, 4.2% and 3.8%, respectively, of our total pro-rata share of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2023. No other market accounted for more than 3.5% of our total pro-rata share of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2023.

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Our results of operations and funds available for distribution to shareholders therefore will be impacted generally by economic conditions in the southeastern and midwestern United States, and particularly by the results experienced at properties located in our five largest market areas. While we have properties located in six states across the southwestern, northeastern and western regions, we will continue to look for opportunities to geographically diversify our portfolio in order to minimize dependency on any particular region; however, the expansion of the portfolio through both acquisitions and developments is contingent on many factors including consumer demand, competition and economic conditions.

RISKS RELATED TO FEDERAL INCOME TAX LAWS

We conduct a portion of our business through taxable REIT subsidiaries, which are subject to certain tax risks.

We have established several taxable REIT subsidiaries including CBL Holdings I, LLC, the general partner of the Operating Partnership, and our Management Company. Despite our qualification as a REIT, our taxable REIT subsidiaries must pay income tax on their taxable income. In addition, we must comply with various tests to continue to qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, and our income from and investments in our taxable REIT subsidiaries generally do not constitute permissible income and investments for these tests. While we will attempt to ensure that our dealings with our taxable REIT subsidiaries will not adversely affect our REIT qualification, we cannot provide assurance that we will successfully achieve that result. Furthermore, we may be subject to a 100% penalty tax, or our taxable REIT subsidiaries may be denied deductions, to the extent our dealings with our taxable REIT subsidiaries are not deemed to be arm’s length in nature.

If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, our funds available for distribution to stockholders will be reduced.

We intend to continue to operate so as to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code. Although we believe that we are organized and operate in such a manner, no assurance can be given that we currently qualify and, in the future, will continue to qualify as a REIT. Such qualification involves the application of highly technical and complex Internal Revenue Code provisions for which there are only limited judicial or administrative interpretations. The determination of various factual matters and circumstances not entirely within our control may affect our ability to qualify. In addition, no assurance can be given that legislation, new regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions will not significantly change the tax laws with respect to qualification or its corresponding federal income tax consequences. Any such change could have a retroactive effect.

If in any taxable year we were to fail to qualify as a REIT, we would not be allowed a deduction for distributions to stockholders in computing our taxable income and we would be subject to federal income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. Unless entitled to relief under certain statutory provisions, we also would be disqualified from treatment as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which qualification was lost. As a result, the funds available for distribution to our stockholders would be reduced for each of the years involved. This would likely have a significant adverse effect on the value of our securities and our ability to raise additional capital. In addition, we would no longer be required to make distributions to our stockholders. We currently intend to operate in a manner designed to qualify as a REIT. However, it is possible that future economic, market, legal, tax or other considerations may cause our board of directors to revoke the REIT election.

If the Operating Partnership fails to qualify as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would fail to qualify as a REIT and would suffer adverse consequences.

As a partnership, the Operating Partnership is not subject to federal income tax on its income. Instead, each of its partners, including us, is allocated, and may be required to pay tax with respect to, such partner's share of its income. We cannot assure you that the Internal Revenue Service (the "IRS") will not challenge the status of the Operating Partnership or any other subsidiary partnership or limited liability company in which we own an interest as a disregarded entity or partnership for federal income tax purposes, or that a court would not sustain such a challenge. If the IRS were successful in treating the Operating Partnership or any such other subsidiary as an entity taxable as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, we would fail to meet the gross income tests and certain of the asset tests applicable to REITs and, accordingly, we would likely cease to qualify as a REIT. Also, the failure of the Operating Partnership or any subsidiary partnerships or limited liability company to qualify as a disregarded entity or partnership for applicable income tax purposes could cause it to become subject to federal and state corporate income tax, which would reduce significantly the amount of cash available for debt service and for distribution to its partners or members, including us.

Any issuance or transfer of our capital stock to any person in excess of the applicable limits on ownership necessary to maintain our status as a REIT would be deemed void ab initio, and those shares would automatically be transferred to the Company as trustee of a charitable trust.

To maintain our status as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code, not more than 50% in value of our outstanding capital stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code to include certain entities) at any time during the last half of a taxable year. Our Certificate of Incorporation generally prohibits

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ownership of more than 9.9% of the outstanding shares of our capital stock by any single stockholder, either directly or constructively as determined through the application of applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. The approval of our board of directors and the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of our outstanding voting stock is required to amend this provision.

Our board of directors may, subject to certain conditions, waive the applicable ownership limit upon receipt of a ruling from the IRS or an opinion of counsel to the effect that such ownership will not jeopardize our status as a REIT. Historically, our board of directors has granted such waivers to certain institutional investors based upon the receipt of such opinions from the Company’s tax counsel. Absent any such waiver, however, any issuance or transfer of our capital stock to any person in excess of the applicable ownership limit or any issuance or transfer of shares of such stock which would cause us to be beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons, will be null and void and the intended transferee will acquire no rights to the stock. Instead, such issuance or transfer with respect to that number of shares that would be owned by the transferee in excess of the ownership limit provision would be deemed void ab initio and those shares would automatically be transferred to a trust with the Company or its designated successor serving as trustee, for the exclusive benefit of a charitable beneficiary to be designated by us. Any acquisition of our capital stock and continued holding or ownership of our capital stock constitutes, under our Certificate of Incorporation, a continuous representation of compliance with the applicable ownership limit.

In order to maintain our status as a REIT and avoid the imposition of certain additional taxes under the Internal Revenue Code, we must satisfy minimum requirements for distributions to shareholders, which may limit the amount of cash we might otherwise have been able to retain for use in growing our business.

To maintain our status as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code, we generally will be required each year to distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our taxable income after certain adjustments. However, to the extent that we do not distribute all our net capital gains or distribute at least 90% but less than 100% of our REIT taxable income, as adjusted, we will be subject to tax on the undistributed amount at regular corporate tax rates, as the case may be. Also, our cash flows from operations may be insufficient to fund required distributions as a result of differences in timing between the actual receipt of income and the payment of expenses and the recognition of income and expenses for federal income tax purposes, or the effect of nondeductible expenditures, such as capital expenditures, payments of compensation for which Section 162(m) of the Code denies a deduction, interest expense deductions limited by Section 163(j) of the Code, the creation of reserves or required debt service or amortization payments. If we are unable to distribute 90% of our taxable income, we would potentially need to borrow funds, in certain limited cases distribute a combination of cash and stock (at our shareholders' election but subject to an aggregate cash limit established by us), and/or liquidate or sell a portion of our properties or investments (potentially at disadvantageous or unfavorable prices) or find another alternative source of funds. These alternatives could increase our costs or reduce our equity. In addition, to the extent we borrow funds to pay distributions, the amount of cash available to us in future periods will be decreased by the amount of cash flow we will need to service principal and interest on the amounts we borrow, which will limit cash flow available to us for other investments or business opportunities. In addition, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the amount, if any, by which certain distributions paid by us during each calendar year are less than the sum of 85% of our ordinary income for such calendar year, 95% of our capital gain net income for the calendar year and any amount of such income that was not distributed in prior years. In the case of property acquisitions, including our initial formation, where individual properties are contributed to our Operating Partnership for Operating Partnership units, we have assumed the tax basis and depreciation schedules of the entities contributing properties. The relatively low tax basis of such contributed properties may have the effect of increasing the cash amounts we are required to distribute as dividends, thereby potentially limiting the amount of cash we might otherwise have been able to retain for use in growing our business. This low tax basis may also have the effect of reducing or eliminating the portion of distributions made by us that are treated as a non-taxable return of capital.

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Complying with REIT requirements might cause us to forego otherwise attractive opportunities.

In order to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we must satisfy tests concerning, among other things, our sources of income, the nature of our assets, the amounts we distribute to our shareholders and the ownership of our stock. We may also be required to make distributions to our shareholders at disadvantageous times or when we do not have funds readily available for distribution. Thus, compliance with REIT requirements may cause us to forego opportunities we would otherwise pursue. In addition, the REIT provisions of the Internal Revenue Code impose a 100% tax on income from “prohibited transactions.” “Prohibited transactions” generally include sales of assets that constitute inventory or other property held for sale in the ordinary course of business, other than foreclosure property. This 100% tax could impact our desire to sell assets and other investments at otherwise opportune times if we believe such sales could be considered “prohibited transactions.”

Partnership tax audit rules could have a material adverse effect on us.

Under the rules applicable to U.S. federal income tax audits of partnerships, subject to certain exceptions, any audit adjustment to items of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit of a partnership (and any partner’s distributive share thereof) is determined, and taxes, interest, or penalties attributable thereto could be assessed and collected, at the partnership level. Absent available elections, it is possible that a partnership in which we directly or indirectly invest could be required to pay additional taxes, interest and penalties as a result of an audit adjustment, and we, as a direct or indirect partner of these partnerships, could be required to bear the economic burden of those taxes, interest, and penalties even though we may not otherwise have been required to pay additional taxes had we owned the assets of the partnership directly. The partnership tax audit rules apply to the Operating Partnership and its subsidiaries that are classified as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. There can be no assurance that these rules will not have a material adverse effect on us.

Transfers of our equity, or issuances of equity, may impair our ability to utilize the existing tax basis in our assets, our federal income tax net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes during the current year and in future years.

Under certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), and similar state provisions, a corporation is generally permitted to offset net taxable income in a given year with net operating losses carried forward from prior years, and its existing adjusted tax basis in its assets may be used to offset future gains or to generate annual cost recovery deductions.

In order to qualify for taxation as a REIT, we must meet various requirements including a requirement to distribute 90% of our taxable income; and, to avoid paying corporate income tax, we must distribute 100% of our taxable income. Our ability to utilize future tax deductions, net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes to offset future taxable income is subject to certain requirements and restrictions. We experienced an “ownership change,” as defined in section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code, in connection with our emergence from the Chapter 11 Cases, that may substantially limit our ability to use future tax deductions, net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes to offset future taxable income, which could have a negative impact on our financial position and results of operations. Generally, there is an “ownership change” under section 382 of the Code if one or more stockholders owning 5% or more of a corporation’s common stock have aggregate increases in their ownership of such stock of more than 50 percentage points over a prescribed testing period. Under section 382 and section 383 of the Code, absent an applicable exception, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change”, certain future tax deductions (through “recognized built-in losses” arising when a company has a “net unrealized built-in loss” (NUBIL) if they are recognized within five years of the “ownership change”), net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes that may be utilized to offset future taxable income generally are subject to an annual limitation.

We have a significant NUBIL in our assets, as well as net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes at the date of emergence from the Chapter 11 Cases, that would be subject to limitation under section 382.

Whether or not future tax deductions, net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes are subject to limitation under section 382, net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes are expected to be further reduced by the amount of discharge of indebtedness arising in our Chapter 11 Cases under section 108 of the Internal Revenue Code.

26


 

RISKS RELATED TO OUR ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

The ownership limit described above, as well as certain provisions in our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws, may hinder any attempt to acquire us.

There are certain provisions of Delaware law (which we have opted out of having apply to the Company), our Certificate of Incorporation and our Bylaws, which may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a third party from making an acquisition proposal for us. These provisions may also inhibit a change in control that some, or a majority, of our stockholders might believe to be in their best interest or that could give our stockholders the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market prices for their shares. These provisions and agreements are summarized as follows:

The Ownership Limit – As described above, to maintain our status as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code, not more than 50% in value of our outstanding capital stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code to include certain entities) during the last half of a taxable year. Our Certificate of Incorporation generally prohibits ownership of more than 9.9% of the outstanding shares of our capital stock by any single stockholder, either directly or constructively as determined through the application of applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, subject to the ability of the board of directors to grant waivers in appropriate circumstances, and further subject to Existing Holder Limits that were established in connection with our emergence from the Chapter 11 Cases for two stockholder groups, Canyon Capital Advisors and certain of its affiliates (33.1%) and Oaktree Capital Group, LLC and certain of its affiliates (19.0%). In addition to preserving our status as a REIT, the ownership limit may have the effect of precluding an acquisition of control of us without the approval of our board of directors.
Approval by a Majority of Our Outstanding Voting Stock Required for Removal of Directors – Our governing documents provide that stockholders can remove directors with or without cause, but only by the affirmative vote of holders of at least a majority of the outstanding voting stock. This provision makes it more difficult to change the composition of our board of directors and may have the effect of encouraging persons considering unsolicited tender offers or other unilateral takeover proposals to negotiate with our board of directors rather than pursue non-negotiated takeover attempts.
Advance Notice Requirements for Stockholder Proposals – Our Bylaws establish advance notice procedures with regard to stockholder proposals relating to the nomination of candidates for election as directors or new business to be brought before meetings of our stockholders. These procedures generally require advance written notice of any such proposals, containing prescribed information, to be given to our Secretary at our principal executive offices not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days prior to the anniversary date of the date on which we first mailed our proxy materials for the prior year’s annual meeting.
Vote Required to Amend Bylaws – Approval by the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting power of our outstanding capital stock entitled to vote in the election of directors (in addition to any separate approval that may be required by the holders of any particular class of stock) is necessary for stockholders to amend our Bylaws.
Opt-Out From Delaware Anti-Takeover Statute – While we are a Delaware corporation, we have elected under the provisions of our current Certificate of Incorporation not to be governed by Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law. In general, had we continued to be subject to Section 203 as we were prior to emerging from the Chapter 11 reorganization, Section 203 would prevent an “interested stockholder” (defined generally as a person owning 15% or more of a company’s outstanding voting stock) from engaging in a “business combination” (as defined in Section 203) with us for three years following the date that person becomes an interested stockholder (subject to certain exceptions specified in Section 203).

27


 

Our Certificate of Incorporation contains a provision renouncing our interest and expectancy in certain corporate opportunities identified by our non-employee directors and their affiliates.

Certain of our non-employee directors and their affiliates engage in the same or similar business activities or lines of business in which we operate and may make investments in properties or businesses that directly or indirectly compete with certain portions of our business. As set forth in our Certificate of Incorporation, such non-employee directors and their affiliates shall not have any duty, to the fullest extent permitted by law, to refrain from (x) engaging in the same or similar business activities or lines of business in which we operate or propose to operate, (y) making investments in any kind of property in which we make or may make investments or (z) otherwise competing with us or any of our affiliates. Our Certificate of Incorporation also provides that if our non-employee directors or their affiliates acquire knowledge of a potential transaction that could be a corporate opportunity, they have no duty to communicate or offer such corporate opportunity to us or our affiliates, unless such corporate opportunity is expressly offered to the non-employee director solely in his or her capacity as one of our directors (or officers, if applicable).

Therefore, a non-employee director of our company may pursue certain acquisition opportunities that may be complementary to our business and, as a result, such acquisition opportunities may not be available to us. In addition, in the event that any of our non-employee directors or his or her affiliates acquires knowledge of a corporate opportunity or is offered a corporate opportunity, provided that this knowledge was not acquired solely in such person’s capacity as a director or officer of the Company, then to the fullest extent permitted by law such person is deemed to have fully satisfied such person’s fiduciary duties owed to us and is not liable to us if such director or its affiliates pursues or acquires the corporate opportunity or if such person did not present the corporate opportunity to us. These potential conflicts of interest could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or prospects if attractive corporate opportunities are allocated by such non-employee directors to themselves or their other affiliates instead of to us.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 1C. CYBERSECURITY

We face risks associated with security breaches through cyber attacks, cyber intrusions or otherwise, and other significant disruptions of information technology networks and related systems. Refer to Risk Factors in Part I, Item 1A for a disclosure of our cybersecurity risks. We have not experienced a material information security breach and as a result, we have not incurred any material expenses. We continue to monitor cybersecurity risks to prevent and mitigate materially negative impacts on the Company’s reputation, financial performance, customer or vendor relationships and potential litigation or regulatory investigations or actions.

As part of its regular oversight of risk management, our audit committee is responsible for the oversight of cybersecurity risk and threat mitigation related to our information technology and information systems including protection and security of employee and customer data. Our Vice President – Technology Solutions is responsible for the day-to-day management of our cybersecurity program and reports directly to our President. Our Vice President – Technology Solutions has served in this role for over three years and has more than 25 years of experience in the aggregate, including ten years with the Company, in various information technology roles. Our audit committee is responsible for overseeing cybersecurity risks, and our management team reports to our audit committee on the Company’s cybersecurity program, current cybersecurity projects and industry trends and efforts to mitigate cybersecurity risk on at least a semi-annual basis.

We have a comprehensive program designed to mitigate cybersecurity risk. We have adopted and require employees to abide by our personally identifiable information policy to help protect personal employee, vendor and tenant information. Employees are required to complete regular cybersecurity training and education annually, which is followed-up with quarterly testing and re-training, as necessary. We also maintain an incident response plan which outlines our response and action in the event of a major cybersecurity incident. The cybersecurity incident response plan sets forth a process for detecting and responding to cybersecurity incidents, determining their scope and risk, developing an appropriate response to mitigate and remediate the incident, communicating effectively to all stakeholders and participants and reducing the likelihood of similar future incidents. In the event of a real or perceived cybersecurity incident, the Vice President – Technology Solutions would, as soon as practicable, inform management’s technology solutions steering committee, the members of which would then collaborate with the Vice President – Technology Solutions to manage material risks.

28


 

We contract with a third party to perform a cybersecurity risk and vulnerability assessment annually. We regularly test areas of potential vulnerability, utilizing penetration testing, ransomware-focused disaster recovery tests as well as testing exercises for other higher risk areas. We have also implemented most of the voluntary practices recommended under the National Institute of Standards and Technology cybersecurity framework. Additionally, the Company maintains cybersecurity risk insurance coverage.

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

Refer to Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included in Item 7 for additional information pertaining to our properties’ performance.

Malls, Lifestyle Centers and Outlet Centers

We owned a controlling interest in 40 malls, 4 lifestyle centers and 2 outlet centers as of December 31, 2023. We owned a non-controlling interest in 7 malls, 1 lifestyle center and 3 outlet centers as of December 31, 2023. Our malls, lifestyle centers and outlet centers generally have strong competitive positions because they are the only, or the dominant, regional property in their respective trade areas. The malls, lifestyle centers and outlet centers are generally anchored by two or more anchors or junior anchors and a wide variety of smaller stores. Anchor and junior anchor tenants own or lease their stores and non-anchor stores lease their locations.

We own the land underlying each property in fee simple interest, except for Brookfield Square, Dakota Square Mall, Meridian Mall, St. Clair Square, Stroud Mall and WestGate Mall. We lease all or a portion of the land at each of these properties subject to long-term ground leases.

The following table summarizes certain information for our portfolio of malls, lifestyle centers and outlet centers as of December 31, 2023 (dollars in thousands, except for sales per square foot amounts):

 

 

Number of
Properties

 

Total Center
Square Footage

 

 

Total
In-Line GLA

 

 

In-Line
Sales per Square Foot

 

 

Percentage
In-Line
GLA Leased

Malls

 

47

 

 

40,943,587

 

 

 

13,096,851

 

 

$

402

 

 

89%

Lifestyle Centers

 

5

 

 

4,244,080

 

 

 

1,660,345

 

 

$

478

 

 

92%

Outlet Centers

 

5

 

 

1,880,089

 

 

 

1,743,796

 

 

$

451

 

 

92%

Total Malls, Lifestyle Centers and Outlet Centers

 

57

 

 

47,067,756

 

 

 

16,500,992

 

 

$

416

 

 

90%

The following table sets forth certain information for each of the malls, lifestyle centers and outlet centers as of December 31, 2023 (dollars in thousands, except for sales per square foot amounts):

Property / Location

 

Year of
Opening/
Acquisition

 

Year of
Most
Recent
Expansion

 

Our
Ownership

 

Total Center
Square Feet
(1)

 

 

Total
In-Line GLA
(2)

 

 

In-Line
Sales per
Square
Foot
(3)

 

 

Percentage
In-Line GLA
Leased
(4)

 

 

Anchors & Junior
Anchors
(5)

Malls:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arbor Place
   Atlanta (Douglasville), GA

 

1999

 

N/A

 

100%

 

 

1,163,791

 

 

 

308,868

 

 

 

382

 

 

 

95

%

 

Belk, Conn's Home Plus, Dillard's, Forever 21, H&M, JC Penney, Macy's, former Overstock Furniture and Mattress, Regal Cinemas, former Sears (6)

Brookfield Square (7)
   Brookfield, WI

 

1967/2001

 

2008

 

100%

 

 

865,347

 

 

 

307,314

 

 

 

218

 

 

 

68

%

 

Barnes & Noble, former Boston Store (6), H&M, JC Penney, Movie Tavern by Marcus, Whirlyball

CherryVale Mall
   Rockford, IL

 

1973/2001

 

2007

 

100%

 

 

870,696

 

 

 

348,280

 

 

 

318

 

 

 

88

%

 

Barnes & Noble, Galleria Furniture and Mattress, JC Penney, Macy's, Tilt Studio

Coastal Grand Mall (8)
   Myrtle Beach, SC

 

2004

 

2007

 

50%

 

 

1,117,231

 

 

 

341,665

 

 

 

448

 

 

 

98

%

 

Future Crunch Fitness (9), Belk, Cinemark, Dick's Sporting Goods, Dillard's, H&M, JC Penney, former Sears, Stars & Strikes

CoolSprings Galleria (8)
   Nashville, TN

 

1991

 

2015

 

50%

 

 

1,167,654

 

 

 

432,308

 

 

 

636

 

 

 

94

%

 

Belk Men's & Kid's, Belk Women's & Home, Dillard's, H&M, JC Penney, King's Dining & Entertainment, Macy's

Cross Creek Mall
   Fayetteville, NC

 

1975/2003

 

2013

 

100%

 

 

821,839

 

 

 

299,586

 

 

 

509

 

 

 

93

%

 

Belk, H&M, JC Penney, Macy's, Main Event, Rooms to Go

Dakota Square Mall
   Minot, ND

 

1980/2012

 

2016

 

100%

 

 

740,765

 

 

 

222,473

 

 

 

314

 

 

 

82

%

 

AMC Theatres, Barnes & Noble, JC Penney, Scheels, Sleep Inn & Suites, Target, Tilt Studio

East Towne Mall
   Madison, WI

 

1971/2001

 

2004

 

100%

 

 

801,260

 

 

 

211,971

 

 

 

303

 

 

 

89

%

 

Barnes & Noble, former Boston Store (6), Dick's Sporting Goods, Flix Brewhouse, former

29


 

Property / Location

 

Year of
Opening/
Acquisition

 

Year of
Most
Recent
Expansion

 

Our
Ownership

 

Total Center
Square Feet
(1)

 

 

Total
In-Line GLA
(2)

 

 

In-Line
Sales per
Square
Foot
(3)

 

 

Percentage
In-Line GLA
Leased
(4)

 

 

Anchors & Junior
Anchors
(5)

Malls:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gordman's, H&M, JC Penney, former Sears

Eastland Mall
   Bloomington, IL

 

1967/2005

 

N/A

 

100%

 

 

732,651

 

 

 

247,509

 

 

 

293

 

 

 

60

%

 

Former Bergner's, Kohl's, former Macy's, Planet Fitness, former Sears

Fayette Mall
   Lexington, KY

 

1971/2001

 

2014

 

100%

 

 

1,159,381

 

 

 

461,104

 

 

 

490

 

 

 

98

%

 

Dick's Sporting Goods, Dillard's, H&M, JC Penney, Macy's

Frontier Mall
   Cheyenne, WY

 

1981

 

1997

 

100%

 

 

523,699

 

 

 

203,579

 

 

 

314

 

 

 

88

%

 

Former AMC Theatres, Dillard's, former Dillard's, Jax Outdoor Gear (6), JC Penney (6)

Governor's Square (8)(10)
   Clarksville, TN

 

1986

 

1999

 

47.5%

 

 

685,143

 

 

 

238,261

 

 

 

398

 

 

 

96

%

 

AMC Theatres, Belk, Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, Dillard's, JC Penney, Ross Dress for Less, partial former Sears

Hamilton Place
   Chattanooga, TN

 

1987

 

2016

 

90%

 

 

1,160,594

 

 

 

330,973

 

 

 

471

 

 

 

93

%

 

Barnes & Noble, Belk for Men, Kids & Home, Belk for Women, future Crunch Fitness, Dave & Buster's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Dillard's for Men, Kids & Home, Dillard's for Women, former Forever 21, H&M, JC Penney

Hanes Mall
   Winston-Salem, NC

 

1975/2001

 

1990

 

100%

 

 

1,435,062

 

 

 

468,360

 

 

 

393

 

 

 

91

%

 

Belk, Dave & Buster's, Dillard's, Encore, H&M, JC Penney, future Novant Health (6)(11), Truliant Federal Credit Union (6)

Harford Mall
   Bel Air, MD

 

1973/2003

 

2007

 

100%

 

 

367,019

 

 

 

179,602

 

 

 

336

 

 

 

80

%

 

Encore, Macy's, Macy's Furniture Gallery, future grocer (6)(12)

Imperial Valley Mall
   El Centro, CA

 

2005

 

N/A

 

100%

 

 

762,736

 

 

 

214,096

 

 

 

422

 

 

 

98

%

 

Cinemark, Dillard's, JC Penney, Macy's, former Sears (6)

Jefferson Mall
   Louisville, KY

 

1978/2001

 

1999

 

100%

 

 

783,558

 

 

 

225,011

 

 

 

339

 

 

 

95

%

 

Dillard's, H&M, JC Penney, former Overstock Furniture and Mattress, Round1 Bowling & Amusement, Ross Dress for Less, partial former Sears

Kentucky Oaks Mall (8)(10)
   Paducah, KY

 

1982/2001

 

1995

 

50%

 

 

775,064

 

 

 

286,805

 

 

 

307

 

 

 

68

%

 

Best Buy, Burlington (6), Dick's Sporting Goods, former Dillard's, former Dillard's Home Store, HomeGoods, JC Penney, Ross Dress for Less (6), Vertical Jump Park

Kirkwood Mall
   Bismarck, ND

 

1970/2012

 

2017

 

100%

 

 

832,677

 

 

 

228,813

 

 

 

349

 

 

 

98

%

 

H&M, I. Keating Furniture, JC Penney, Scheels, Target, Tilt

Laurel Park Place
   Livonia, MI

 

1989/2005

 

1994

 

100%

 

 

491,215

 

 

 

198,071

 

 

 

279

 

 

 

85

%

 

Dunham Sports, Von Maur

Layton Hills Mall
   Layton, UT

 

1980/2006

 

1998

 

100%

 

 

481,844

 

 

 

212,398

 

 

 

376

 

 

 

97

%

 

Dick's Sporting Goods, Dillard's, JC Penney

Mall del Norte
   Laredo, TX

 

1977/2004

 

1993

 

100%

 

 

1,219,314

 

 

 

408,321

 

 

 

469

 

 

 

93

%

 

Former Beall's, Cinemark, Dillard's, Foot Locker, H&M, JC Penney, Macy's, Macy's Home Store, Main Event, former Sears, TruFit Athletic Club

Meridian Mall (13)
   Lansing, MI

 

1969/1998

 

2001

 

100%

 

 

946,072

 

 

 

284,979

 

 

 

258

 

 

 

84

%

 

Future Schuler Books & Music (14), Dick's Sporting Goods, H&M, High Caliber Karting, JC Penney, Launch Trampoline Park, Macy's, Planet Fitness, Schuler Books & Music, former Younkers

Mid Rivers Mall
   St. Peters, MO

 

1987/2007

 

2015

 

100%

 

 

1,035,816

 

 

 

286,699