(Bloomberg) -- CBL & Associates Properties Inc., an owner of lower-end malls in the suburban U.S., is always open to prospective buyers. 

“We’re a public company, so we’re always for sale, so to speak,’’ Chief Executive Officer Stephen Lebovitz said in an interview at an industry conference Wednesday. “Anyone who’s contacted us -- we’ve always talked to them, but we’re not actively looking to sell the company.’’

The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based firm has faced mounting challenges as more retailers have closed up shop amid a shift to online shopping. In October, it slashed its dividend for 2019 to 30 cents per share from 80 cents. The stock has lost more than half of its value this year.

CBL’s vision is to transform traditional malls into town centers with a wider variety of businesses. That means reducing the number of department stores and adding more entertainment and restaurants, Lebovitz said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lily Katz in New York at lkatz31@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Debarati Roy at droy5@bloomberg.net, Rob Urban

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