William Ackman Backtracks on General Growth

Activist no longer pushing for Simon Property takeover of mall operator.

Activist investor William Ackman is no longer playing matchmaker in the real estate world.

This story first appeared in the January 4, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Last year, Ackman, who heads Pershing Square Capital Management, tried to get Simon Property Group Inc. to buy General Growth Properties Inc. Ackman owns 8 percent of General Growth.

While Simon and General Growth did talk, General Growth was against a combination and Simon dropped its pursuit.

In a regulatory filing today, Ackman said he no longer believes General Growth should consider a sale. Brookfield Asset Management Inc., another General Growth investor, also amended its governance arrangements with the mall owner. Ackman had been critical of Brookfield’s position at General Growth.

Shares of General Growth were down 2.9 percent to $19.46 Thursday on Wall Street.

Ackman continues to hold stakes in J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co.