General Growth Gets Extension on $900M Loan, Plans to Sell High-Profile Properties

Finally, another small tidbit of good news in the financial scene and this time, it is for one of the headline-grabbing commercial real estate companies–General Growth Properties. The publicly traded REIT said lenders for the $900 million Fashion Show and Palazzo mortgage loans has extended the deadline until Feb.12. In further efforts to reduce its outstanding debt, General Growth will put up for sale two of its most high-profile holdings, New York City’s South Street Seaport and Faneuil Hall in Boston, according to brokerage DTZ Rockwood L.L.C., which has been retained to market the properties. The company also put two of its prime Downtown Baltimore retail holdings–Harborplace and the Gallery–on the market.General Growth is one of the nation’s largest REITS and has ownership interests in and/or management responsibility for more than 200 regional shopping malls totaling approximately 200 million square feet of retail space.BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd. reported better-than-expected revenue guidance for the fourth quarter with income of $396.3 million, compared with $370.5 million in the year-ago period. Sales grew 66.3 percent to $2.78 billion from $1.67 billion, the Associated Press reported.However, the news isn’t as good for other retailers. The AP reported that Pier 1 Imports Inc.’s losses for the quarter ended Nov. 29 grew to $36.9 million from $10 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 20 percent to $300.9 million. Polaroid Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to facilitate its restructuring attributed the move to events at Petters Group Worldwide, which has owned the company since 2005, Reutersreported. The article added that the founder of Petters is “under investigation for alleged acts of fraud that have compromised the financial condition of Polaroid and other entities owned by Petters Group,” the company said in a statement. Oracle Corp posted a drop in new sales and indicated sales could fall up to 10 percent in the current quarter, but relieved investors who feared even worse sent the shares up 3.4 percent in extended trade on Thursday, Reuters reported.Meanwhile, the automaker bailout continues to dominate the news. General Motors Corp and Chrysler are close to securing emergency loans as part of a U.S. government aid package that would demand sweeping restructuring at the troubled automakers, according to a Reuters report. The bridge loans could stave off the prospect of an “orderly” bankruptcy, one option being considered by the U.S. government after more than a month of wrangling, according to the article. Bond fund Pacific Investment Management (Pimco) turned down a debt-exchange offer from GMAC L.L.C., threatening the auto and mortgage finance company’s bid to qualify for U.S. government funds, the Wall Street Journal reported. If Pimco doesn’t participate in the exchange, GMAC–which is 49 percent owned by General Motors Corp.–would likely fall short of the capital boost it needs to become a bank holding company. GMAC is trying to restructure $38 billion of debt but is short of the 75 percent of approvals needed to become a bank holding company and qualify for funds from the Treasury Department’s $700 billion rescue package, Reuters reported.