Breaking News: GGP Declares Bankruptcy

Following months of negotiating  with its creditors to secure the time necessary to establish a solution to the credit crisis facing the company, mall owner and operator General Growth Properties Inc. announced this morning that it has declared bankruptcy and has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection in United States Bankruptcy Code. Moreover, nearly 158 regional shopping centers owned by the firm also filed for bankruptcy protection.The nation’s second-largest retail REIT ran into trouble after taking on some $27 billion in debt as a result of a buying spree that included the acquisition of mall owner Rouse Co. in 2004. Company stock has fallen some 80 percent over the last six months as the credit problems came to a head. General Growth said in a release that it plans to work with its constituencies “to emerge from bankruptcy as quickly as possible.” The Chicago-based firm also announced that such subsidiaries as GGP’s third-party management business, as well as the firm’s joint ventures, have not filed for protection. All day-to-day operations and business of all of the company’s shopping centers and other properties will continue to function as usual…..developing story.