General Growth seeks JV, looks to pay off debt-WSJ
NEW YORK, April 16 |
NEW YORK, April 16 (Reuters) - General Growth Properties Inc (GGP.N) is seeking partners for its portfolio as the second-largest U.S. mall operator looks for ways to pay off $18.7 billion of debt due over the next four years, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Other steps the company is mulling to chip away at a total debt of $27 billion include mortgaging certain shopping malls and divesting itself of office buildings, the Journal said.
The global credit crisis has deeply affected commercial mortgage-backed securities -- a funding source that General Growth used in recent times -- and it has to find other ways to refinance debt as it matures, the Journal said.
In an interview with the Journal, General Growth Chief Financial Officer Bernie Freibaum said the company is approaching pension funds and life insurance firms to gauge their interest in a deal.
Freibaum said potential partners could not just ask General Growth, which owns more than 200 malls, for joint deals with its best assets. "If it's multiple assets (in a deal), it will be a good cross-section of our portfolio," Freibaum told the Journal.
General Growth was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman; Editing by Quentin Bryar)
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