The afternoon deal: Simon says …

February 16, 2010

GENERALGROWTHSimon Property’s $10 billion offer for General Growth is seen as a pre-emptive strike coming just a week before a bankruptcy court hearing where General Growth was expected to ask for more time to offer its own plan for emerging from bankruptcy, writes Reuters’ Ilaina Jonas and Helen Chernikoff.

Here are some different takes on the deal:

*  “Due to synergies between Simon Property and General Growth, we feel it is unlikely a competitor would be able to bid more than SPG, so we expect that other meaningful bids are unlikely,” Rich Moore, managing director at RBC Capital Markets in Solon, Ohio, in a note to investors. – Bloomberg

*  “Ever since General Growth entered bankruptcy-court protection last year, potential buyers have been circling the mall owner’s premium retail assets,” Michael Corkery writes in the WSJ’s Deal Journal. The blog lists Brookfield Asset Management and Vornado Realty Trust as potential bidders.

*  The official line from Simon: “Simon’s offer provides the best possible outcome for all General Growth stakeholders.  Simon is in the unique position of being able to offer General Growth creditors and shareholders full, fair and immediate value.”

*  In a Reuters Breakingviews story Rolfe Winkler writes that Simon may have to bump up its bid as common equity holder Pershing Square Capital Management looks for a sweeter deal and creditor Brookfield Asset Management is working to help GGP exit bankruptcy on its own.

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