General Growth Properties Inc , the second largest U.S. mall owner, said on Monday that its subsidiary Rouse Co LP would extend the deadline to reach an agreement that could allow it to skip payments on more than $2 billion of debt

We continue to believe that giving the company time to work with its creditors to develop a comprehensive restructuring plan without the threat and distraction of ongoing defaults is in the best interests of the company and all of its constituencies, said General Growth Chief Executive Adam Metz, in a statement.

The Chicago-based company, which owns or operates more than 200 U.S. malls, has $1.18 billion of past due debt and additional $4.09 billion of debt that could be accelerated by its lenders.

It has been trying to garner the support of holders of notes from Rouse Co, which General Growth acquired in 2004, for support that could allow it skip the payments on $2.25 billion of notes this year.

The company extended the expiration date for its consent solicitation to March 27.

During the initial extension of the consent solicitation, we received an increased level of consents from bondholders in all series and due to difficulties that we understand some holders experienced in obtaining the consent solicitation materials, we have decided to extend the solicitation for an additional period, said Metz.

(Reporting by Chelsea Emery; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)