US-based shopping centre developer CBL & Associates Properties (CBL) has closed a sale-leaseback transaction for five Sears department stores and two Sears Auto Centers in its malls.

CBL has acquired these locations for $72.5m.

Department store chain Sears will continue to operate the outlets under a new ten-year lease agreement.

CBL & Associates Properties president and chief executive officer Stephen Lebovitz said: “We are proactively transforming our market-dominant shopping centres to meet the changing preferences of consumers.

“The leaseback of the real estate by Sears will generate income to CBL and gives us control over the timing of closures while we finalise our redevelopment plans at each location.”

“We are proactively transforming our market-dominant shopping centres to meet the changing preferences of consumers."

The five locations acquired include the outlets in Fayetteville, North Carolina; Brookfield, Wisconsin; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Louisville, Kentucky.

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The two acquired Sears Auto Centers are located in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Daytona, Florida.

According to the lease, CBL will receive a total initial base rent of nearly $5.075m, with Sears also being responsible for paying common area maintenance charges, taxes, insurance and utilities.

CBL can terminate each Sears lease at any time with the exception from November through January, with an advance notice of six months.

CBL also holds the right to terminate the leases after a four-year lock-out period for the Sears store at Jefferson Mall, two years for the other four Sears stores and one-year for the two Sears Auto Centers.