CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE: CBL), today announced that the Company was assigned a BBB- Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and BBB- Senior Unsecured Notes rating by Fitch Ratings.
Fitch cited, “the company’s large, well-diversified portfolio of predominantly regional mall assets, strong franchise value, sufficient credit metrics for the rating, and adequate financial flexibility highlighted by improving access to capital and growing unencumbered asset pool” as rationale for the rating.
“The assignment of an investment grade rating from Fitch is a significant accomplishment and demonstrates the tremendous progress we’ve made in positioning our balance sheet,” said Farzana Mitchell, CBL’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “This second investment grade rating gives us the flexibility of another capital source, positioning the Company to enter the public debt markets at an attractive time. We will continue to execute our plan to create a more balanced financing structure and reduce our overall cost of capital.”
More information regarding CBL’s rating assignment can be found in the Fitch Ratings press release on its website at www.fitchratings.com.CBL is one of the largest and most active owners and developers of malls and shopping centers in the United States. CBL owns, holds interests in or manages 159 properties, including 96 regional malls/open-air centers. The properties are located in 31 states and total 92.0 million square feet including 9.3 million square feet of non-owned shopping centers managed for third parties. Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, CBL has regional offices in Boston (Waltham), MA, Dallas (Irving), TX, and St. Louis, MO. Additional information can be found at cblproperties.com. Information included herein contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Such statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which cannot be predicted with accuracy and some of which might not even be anticipated. Future events and actual events, financial and otherwise, may differ materially from the events and results discussed in the forward-looking statements. The reader is directed to the Company's various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and the "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" incorporated by reference therein, for a discussion of such risks and uncertainties.