Analysts suggest General Growth may face sale

General Growth Properties is a major player in the US shopping mall industry, but according to a recent article in the New York Times, the well-known American REIT may soon be considering its options for handling a major debt load.

From the article:

“In a recent statement, General Growth said it was exploring a variety of options, including the sales of individual properties and partnerships with other companies, to “align the market value of the company’s common stock more closely with the intrinsic value” of its shopping malls.

The company has also postponed $1.1 billion of projects, according to Green Street Advisors, a research company in Newport Beach, Calif., including an open-air retail and office development with 1.5 million square feet in Summerlin, Nev., the vast planned community near Las Vegas that it acquired in the Rouse merger.

Despite these efforts, Rich Moore, a retail REIT analyst at RBC Capital Markets, predicted that another large shopping mall operator, or a combination of rival companies, would end up buying General Growth. “The reality is, given this credit crunch, they’re up against the wall,” Mr. Moore said. Possible suitors for all or parts of the company include the Simon Property Group, the Westfield Group and Vornado Realty Trust.”

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