CBL & Associates Properties tenant list is a Who's Who of American retail. The self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) owns, develops, manages, and finances shopping malls and other retail properties, primarily in the Southeast and Midwest. Its largest tenants include The Limited, The Gap, Foot Locker, and Abercrombie & Fitch. The REIT wholly owns or has interests in 152 properties, 92 of which are regional malls and open-air shopping centers. Strip malls (typically anchored by grocery or discount stores), associated centers (retail properties adjacent to enclosed malls, usually anchored by big-box stores), office buildings, and commercial mortgages round out its portfolio.
CBL has properties in 27 US states (primarily in the Southeast and Midwest). St. Louis, Missouri, from which it derives about 8% of its revenues, is the REIT's largest market. Other key markets include Nashville and Kansas City, as well as college towns Madison, Wisconsin and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The company develops, acquires, leases, manages, and operates regional shopping malls, open-air centers, associated centers, community centers and office properties. CBL controls 75 malls and has non-controlling interests in 9 malls. The Malls are primarily located in middle markets and are generally the only, or the dominant, regional mall in their respective markets.
Sales and Marketing
CBL’s primary tenants include Limited Brands, Foot Locker, AE Outfitters Retail Company, Ascena Retail Group, The Gap, and Signet Jewelers.
CBL's revenues have been restated due to the divestiture of three malls, three associated centers and five office buildings in 2013 for an aggregate gross sales price of $220.4 million. In fiscal 2013 the company’s revenues grew by 2% due to rental revenues and tenant reimbursements related new properties, partially offset by a lower revenues from other properties. The company gained from increases in its management fees (due to new contracts to provide property management services to 8 third party malls) and its development fees (related to the development of an outlet center and a community center).
After experiencing strong net income growth in 2012 due to lower operating costs, in 2013 CBL’s revenue decreased by 35%, primarily due to higher operating costs, loss on impairment, and loss on the extinguishment of debt.
In 2013 the company’s operating cash inflow increased to $464.75 million (from $481.52 million in 2012) due to a drop in net income and a change in the current assets and liabilities stemming from a decrease in tenant and other receivables and accounts payable and accrued liabilities.
CBL prefers to own the dominant mall in its region. (Of its 165 properties, 95 are classified as market dominant). Already one of the largest mall REITs in the US, CBL is a big acquirer of regional malls and is increasingly focused on outlet malls.
To rise cash to pay down debt, in 2013 the company sold three malls and three related associated centers for $176 million. The properties were Georgia Square Mall and Georgia Square Plaza in Athens, Georgia; Panama City Mall and The Shoppes at Panama City in Panama City, Florida; and Rivergate Mall and Village at Rivergate in Nashville, Tennessee.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2013 CBL acquired the remaining 51% interest in Krikwood Mall in Bismark, North Dakota. That year it also bought two Sears locations at CBL’s Fayette Mall in Lexington, Kentucky, and CoolSprings Galleria in Nashville, Tennessee.
In mid-2011, the firm opened the its property in Oklahoma (The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City). Also that year, CBL entered into a joint venture with TIAA-CREF in which that firm paid more than $1 billion for stakes in four of the REIT's dominant shopping malls.
CBL's growth strategy also focuses on the development of new properties and the renovation of existing properties, including adding square footage and subdividing retail space. It also updates exterior facades and interior decor, improves parking and lighting, and makes other aesthetic changes to make its properties more attractive to prospective tenants. Redevelopment activities, which slowed during the economic downturn, picked up in 2011.
Co-founder Charles B. Lebovitz stepped down as CEO in early 2010 and son Stephen was named to the post. The elder Lebovitz remained board chair. The Lebovitz family owns more than 10% of CBL, as does institutional investor FMR.