Regional mall owner seeks refinancing
The debt-strapped owner of more than 650 U.S. shopping malls, including the Cortlandt Towne Center and seven other plazas in the Lower Hudson Valley, appears ready to turn over control of most of the company to lenders under a tentative refinancing deal announced this week.
Centro Properties Group of Melbourne, Australia said it has obtained a one-month extension of its credit contracts that were due to expire yesterday while the refinancing deal is under review.
Centro is struggling with $3.35 billion in debt that it accumulated in the course of expanding its retail holdings around the world in recent years. Its stock sells for pennies a share.
It had planned to sell a portfolio of American malls earlier this year that might have included some regional property, but commercial real estate values have fallen. In September, Centro said the deal was canceled but talks were continuing.
This week Centro said the current refinancing deal calls for part of its debt to be changed to securities that in turn could be converted into the equivalent of 90 percent of Centro’s equity.
The company’s office in Manhattan declined to elaborate on the latest announcement.
Centro has more than 1.26 million square feet of gross leasable space in Westchester and Rockland counties. In addition to the Cortlandt Towne Center, its portfolio includes Rockland Plaza in Nanuet, Dalewood Shopping Center in Hartsdale, Highridge Plaza in Yonkers, North Ridge Plaza in New Rochelle, A & P Mamaroneck, Village Square in Mamaroneck, and a plaza on North Central Avenue in Hartsdale.