Simon takes fresh tack in bidding battle for bankrupt GGP

April 14, 2010

Simon Property says it is teaming up with hedge fund Paulson to try to unseat Brookfield Asset Management as the key investor in General Growth Properties as the mall operator angles toward an exit from its bankruptcy.

Simon said it and Paulson would invest $2.5 billion to help General Growth exit bankruptcy, and more importantly, make the investment without taking any warrants to buy shares like Brookfield and other investors have under its current plan, Paritosh Bansal reports.

Paulson, the $32 billion hedge fund run by billionaire investor John Paulson, has made a commitment to co-invest $1 billion with Simon. Sources told us earlier this week that Simon was looking at ways to revise its offer for GGP, which was seen getting hung up on anti-trust concerns.

GGP filed for bankruptcy protection nearly a year ago. It has submitted a proposal to emerge from bankruptcy court backed by three large investors. Under that plan, General Growth would emerge as an independent company. It set an April 22 deadline for objections to the plan.

Paulson’s money goes up against Pershing Square Capital Management and investment manager Fairholme Capital Management, which committed about $3.9 billion at $15 per share to General Growth. General Growth would give these investors warrants for 60 million shares in return for their equity commitment.

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