General Growth requests further loan extension: report

(Reuters) - U.S. mall giant General Growth Properties Inc GGP.N has requested lenders to further extend deadlines on a $2.6 billion credit line and a $900 million mortgage on two Las Vegas malls, the Wall Street Journal said.

At a meeting with lenders in New York on Monday, General Growth representatives asked the lenders to extend their deadlines on the credit line and Las Vegas loans from January 30 and February 12, respectively, to March 15, the paper reported citing people familiar with the matter.

General Growth, the No. 2 mall owners in the United States, could not be immediately reached by Reuters to comment on the report.

The Chicago-based company, which owns and manages more than 200 U.S. malls, is struggling to restructure or postpone payment on debt of about $22 billion over the next four years. Large installments of the debt are due in coming months.

General Growth’s senior management and advisers outlined separate scenarios of the company operating under bankruptcy protection or instead grappling with its debt burden outside of bankruptcy court, the Journal said citing sources, who added that a bankruptcy filing wasn’t imminent.

The company has not filed for bankruptcy but has warned it might need to do so if it cannot sell assets or win agreement on deadline extensions with its lenders.

Last month, the mall company said its lenders for the $900 million loan had agreed to extend the payment deadline until Feb 12, on two Las Vegas malls - Fashion Show and Shoppes at the Palazzo. The payments were originally due on November 28.

General Growth has put three Las Vegas malls and three high-end malls in Boston, New York and Baltimore up for sale as it tries to come out of debt.

Reporting by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri in Bangalore; Editing by Anshuman Daga