Washington Prime Group (WPG) and each of its debtor affiliates emerged from the Chapter 11 process, signifying the completion of the company’s financial restructuring and the implementation of its plan of reorganization. The plan, which was led by plan sponsor SVPGlobal and which received support from the company’s creditors and equity holders, was confirmed by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on Sept. 3.
WPG emerged from bankruptcy with its debt reduced by nearly $1 billion and its overall liquidity improved. WPG will now operate as a private holding company majority owned by SVPGlobal.
With WPG’s emergence from bankruptcy, Lou Conforti is stepping down from his role as CEO. Mark Yale, WPG’s executive vice president and CFO, and Josh Lindimore, the company’s executive vice president and head of leasing, will serve as interim co-CEOs. In addition, Sujan Patel, Jeff Johnson and Martin Reid were named new members of the company’s board of directors.
“WPG’s relatively quick financial restructuring came as a result of the steadfast focus of my colleagues and SVPGlobal, our equity partner who shares our passion for the sector within which we operate,” Conforti said. “SVPGlobal recognizes the value of our brand, the potential of our assets and, as importantly, our employees, corporate and field. As WPG emerges from bankruptcy, the timing is right for me to step down from my role as CEO and move to an advisory role. It is a ‘new beginning’ for WPG and myself. I have thoroughly enjoyed leading this organization and wish it the greatest success.”
“As WPG exits Chapter 11, we are very excited about what lies ahead,” Victor Khosla, founder and chief investment officer of SVPGlobal, said. “With a substantially stronger balance sheet and greater financially flexibility, WPG is well positioned for the future. We fully expect that WPG’s strong portfolio of assets will enable it to continue as a retail leader, and we look forward to partnering with WPG’s experienced team. We thank Lou for leading WPG through an unprecedented period of change. We wish him well.”
During the Chapter 11 process, Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to WPG and Alvarez & Marsal served as its restructuring advisor. Guggenheim Securities served as the company’s investment banker. Davis Polk & Wardwell served as legal counsel and Evercore Group served as investment banker and financial advisor to SVPGlobal. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal counsel and PJT Partners served as investment banker for an ad hoc group of consenting creditors.