General Growth Examines Options for Reducing Debt

General Growth Properties Inc., one of the country’s largest public REITs and a major shopping center owner/manager, is considering a wide range of alternatives as it prepares for a November mortgage offering to lenders and pursues funding for its near-term maturing obligations. The company has announced that options such as “core and non-core asset sales, the sale of joint venture or preferred equity in selected pools of its assets, a corporate level capital infusion, and/or strategic business combinations” are all on the table as it seeks to reduce debt. At the close of today’s trading on the New York Stock Exchange, General Growth’s stock was trading around $15.89, down from yesterday’s close of 21.42. Its 12-month high was 57.84 last October. The Wall Street Journal has reported that GGP has granted its lenders a 50 percent recourse provision (rather than 25 percent) on a loan package totaling $1.75 billion. The company reportedly faces nearly $19 billion in debt that’s coming due through 2011.