Simon still interested in buying General Growth: source

NEW YORK Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:35am EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Simon Property Group (SPG.N), which on Wednesday offered to help bankroll General Growth Properties Inc (GGP.N) effort to emerge from bankruptcy as an independent company, remains "very interested" in buying the entire company, a source familiar with the situation said.

Simon also is reaching out to Fairholme Capital Management, and Pershing Square Capital as soon as Wednesday to co-invest with it in General Growth, the source said. It also planned to soon speak with investor Elliott Management.

If it is successful in becoming the General Growth-backed base bid, Simon would have more time to work out differences with General Growth regarding that company's concerns on antitrust issues that could result from an acquisition of the whole company.

(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas and Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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