Westfield, General Growth sign nondisclosure-source

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Australian property owner Westfield Group WDC.AX has signed a nondisclosure agreement with General Growth Properties Inc GGWPQ.PK, which could lead to a bid for the bankrupt U.S. mall owner, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

A nondisclosure agreement allows a potential suitor to review a target company’s financial records and is usually a prelude to a bid.

Westfield, which owns 119 regional shopping centers in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, declined to comment.

General Growth, which owns about 200 U.S. malls, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Simon Property Group Inc SPG.N, the largest U.S. mall owner, last week made an offer for General Growth Properties. on Wednesday they signed a nondisclosure agreement, according to a source.

Also on Wednesday, General Growth unveiled a bankruptcy exit plan bankrolled by Brookfield Asset Management BAMa.TO. (Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; editing by Carol Bishopric)