Mall owner almost a billion in debt

November 13, 2008 1:31:07 PM PST
General Growth Properties Inc. shares plummeted Tuesday after the mall owner warned it faces solvency trouble and may be forced to file for bankruptcy if it can't refinance or extend nearly $1 billion in debt due next month. The real estate investment trust, which is the nation's second-largest mall owner, also disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday that it may default on certain debt obligations.

It's many properties include Christiana Mall in Delaware.

Making matters worse is another $3.07 billion in property and corporate debt slated to come due next year.

General Growth is beset by falling funds from operations and plagued by a tightening global credit market that's making it difficult for companies to obtain financing. General Growth is trying to sell off properties and cut costs to weather the rocky economic climate. It's also suspended its dividend and ousted a cadre of top executives. But shares have been in a virtual free-fall since September.

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