By  on December 17, 2009

Bankrupt mall operator General Growth Properties Inc. said on Thursday that it is examining options such as a public stock offering and entertaining all suitors.

Rival Simon Property Group Inc. is said to be considering a bid for some of General Growth’s assets.

The board and management of the real estate investment trust “are evaluating alternatives to reduce overall leverage and raise the capital necessary to emerge from bankruptcy in 2010,” the firm said. “Financing alternatives include a public offering of [General Growth] equity. In addition, the board of directors and management are considering all indications of interest in the company.”

A bankruptcy court on Tuesday approved the REIT’s reorganization plan.

General Growth previously announced the restructuring of $10.25 billion of secured mortgage loans, representing 194 of the REIT’s subsidiary debtors owning 103 properties. Plans are pending for a reorganization for 26 debtors, representing 10 properties and $1.7 billion of secured mortgage loans.

“The confirmation of the plans of reorganization and the extension of mortgage maturities create the foundation for GGP to move forward to create a sustainable stand-alone capital structure, which provides the basis of comparison for other strategic alternatives,” said Adam Metz, chief executive officer.

General Growth still needs to restructure about $3 billion of secured property debt.

The Chicago-based firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in April.

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