(Bloomberg) -- Washington Prime Group Inc., a real estate investment trust that operates enclosed malls and strip centers across the U.S., filed for bankruptcy after the Covid-19 pandemic curtailed in-person shopping.

The Chapter 11 filing in Houston allows Washington Prime to continue operating while it seeks court approval of a plan to repay creditors.

The Columbus, Ohio-based firm operates around 100 malls, saw its bonds tumble into distressed territory in 2020 as rent collections dried up and tenants went out of business. It began negotiating with its creditors last year and skipped a $23 million bond interest payment in February. Creditors had been extending a forbearance agreement amid the talks.

Bloomberg News previously reported that Washington Prime was weighing a bankruptcy filing as talks faltered.

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