Centro extends $2.7 billion of loans in U.S.
New York City Centro Properties Group reported that it will extend and refinance $2.7 billion of loans in its U.S. business.
The Australian shopping center owner, which ceded control to banks after failing to refinance debt in December 2008, said it has received an extension until December 2011 on $2.3 billion of debt and will refinance a further $400 million within Super LLC, a joint venture of Centro, Centro Retail Trust and Centro MCS 40.
“We have made good progress and have commenced discussions with our lenders on potential restructuring options we have under consideration,” Robert Tsenin, CEO, said in a statement. “Our assessment has confirmed that any restructure will be complex, with numerous structural, financing and stakeholder considerations to manage.”
In 2006 and 2007, former Centro CEO Andrew Scott borrowed to acquire $9 billion of malls, then spun off the centers into funds, which Centro managed for a fee. That backfired when debt costs spiked and asset values slumped in the financial crisis, with banks agreeing in December 2008 to work with the then-owner of 650 U.S. malls to avoid liquidation.
The restructure could take until the end of 2011 to implement, Centro said.
Harrods in talks to open Shanghai store
Shanghai London-based luxury department store retailer Harrods is said to be considering opening a store in Shanghai according to a Friday report by China Daily.
The paper said that Harrods is holding talks with the Shanghai municipal government on the opening of its first store outside the United Kingdom in the historic Bund area of Shanghai.
The proposed venture in China was initiated by managing director Michael Ward, according to the report. The plans, however, have yet to be confirmed.
Harrods was acquired on May 8 by Qatar Holdings for 1.5 billion pounds from Egyptian billionaire Mohammed al-Fayed.
Winick Realty announces promotions
New York City Winick Realty Group announced six promotions on Wednesday. Steven E. Baker now serves as president of Winick Realty Group LLC, where he has also been made partner.
Joseph Isa has been promoted to senior managing director. The following have been promoted to the position of director: Cosmo Montemurro, Jamie Rogers, Richard Smith and Monica Kass.