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This story was updated Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, at 6:48 p.m. with more information.

CBL Properties plans to take steps to keep its shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange after receiving notification that the Chattanooga-based company no longer complies with NYSE criteria.

The operator of Hamilton Place and Northgate malls said Wednesday that NYSE continued listing criteria require companies to maintain an average closing share price of at least $1 over a consecutive 30 trading-day period.

On Wednesday, CBL shares closed at 86 cents, up 1 cent, or up 2.02%.

CBL announced it intends to pursue measures that may include a reverse stock split of its common stock, subject to stockholder approval. CBL said it could pursue that option no later than at its next annual meeting of stockholders if such action is necessary to cure the share price non-compliance.

CBL said it has six months from receipt of the notice to regain compliance, or until the company's next annual meeting of stockholders if the approval is required to cure share price non-compliance, as would a reverse stock split.

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This file photo from 2018 shows the Sears store at Hamilton Place mall. Center owner CBL Properties has since torn down much of the store to make way for new development.

Jim Campbell, managing partner of Chattanooga-based Campbell Rooks Wealth Management, said a reverse stock split basically is the opposite of a traditional stock split.

In a reverse split, shares are effectively merged to form a smaller number. In a 1-for-2 reverse split, for example, an investor would come out owning one share for every two owned previously. At the end of the reverse split, Campbell said, there's no difference in the company's market capitalization.

But Campbell said what's not known is how many shares may be merged if CBL pursues that process. He said CBL likely would merge enough shares to push the stock price high enough so the company wouldn't have to do it again a few months later.

CBL Properties, which owns and manages a national portfolio of 108 malls and shopping centers in 26 states, has been dealing like other businesses with the shift of a lot of retail sales to the internet.

Earlier this month, J. C. Penney Co., a key CBL tenant, announced plans for its own possible reverse stock split after its stock faced delisting by NYSE.

CBL is engaging in a redevelopment program of its properties, moving from apparel-based and traditional enclosed malls to suburban town centers with a more diverse tenant base.

Stephen D. Lebovitz, CBL's chief executive officer, told investors and analysts in a conference call this month that 86% of new mall leasing and 64% of total mall leasing this year has been non-apparel.

"We are currently under construction, have agreements executed or are in active negotiation on three multi-family projects, 14 entertainment operators, including two casinos, nine hotels, 35 restaurants, four fitness centers, six medical uses, two self-storage facilities, two grocers and a number of other nonretail uses," he said.

At Hamilton Place mall, CBL is started the biggest-ever revamp in the center's history with the demolition of the former Sears space into new retail, restaurant and office space.

Additions to the Sears space and parking lots include a Dick's Sporting Goods, Dave & Buster's, Cheesecake Factory, Aloft Hotel by Marriott, offices and another restaurant, according to CBL.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

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