GGP update: Simon says latest offer removes some uncertainty

Indianapolis Simon Property Group said late Thursday that a new plan by mall owner General Growth Properties to exit bankruptcy with funding from Brookfield Asset Management and two other creditors has resolved some uncertainty about the viability of the deal.

General Growth's biggest debt and equity holders are offering to invest $3.93 billion in the company, adding to $2.63 billion pledged by Toronto-based Brookfield as the mall owner restructures in bankruptcy. Bruce Berkowitz's Fairholme Capital Management LLC and William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP are offering the additional money.

Essentially, the three creditors' offer matches Simon's bid of more than $10 billion to pay all of GGP’s unsecured creditors in cash, taking it out of bankruptcy.

"The first plan had a tremendous amount of uncertainty on how ultimately it would impact shareholders," Simon Property Group chief David Simon said Thursday. "The second plan eliminates some of that uncertainty, but not all of it."

Simon is the nation's largest owner of shopping malls. He has tried since last month to persuade Chicago-based General Growth that its offer would represent a quick exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the best value for its shareholders.

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