April 16, 2009 / 7:04 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX: Five facts on General Growth Properties' history

(Reuters) - General Growth Properties Inc, the second-largest U.S. mall owner, declared bankruptcy on Thursday in the biggest real estate failure in U.S. history.

Ending months of speculation, General Growth, along with 158 of its 200-plus U.S. malls, filed for Chapter 11 protection while it tries to refinance its debt.

The following are five key dates in the company’s history:

* In 1954, brothers Martin and Matthew Bucksbaum decide to expand their family’s grocery operation and build the Town and Country Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

* In 1972, General Growth lists its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

* In 1984, General Growth sells 19 malls to Equitable for $800 million, the nation’s largest single-asset real estate transaction with more than 8 million square feet of retail space.

* In 1999, John Bucksbaum is named CEO, succeeding his father, Matthew.

* In 2004, General Growth pays $12.4 billion to acquire The Rouse Co, the largest-ever U.S. retail real estate merger. Its portfolio of properties now totals more than 200 malls in 44 states with approximately 200 million square feet.

(Source: General Growth website)

Reporting by Patrick Fitzgibbons; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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