General Growth Properties Inc
General Growth, the second-largest U.S. mall owner, is anxious to present the new GGP and plans to be out soliciting bids in the next 60 days, Chief Operating Officer Thomas Nolan said at the packed bankruptcy court hearing in Manhattan.
A lawyer for General Growth alleged that its unsecured creditors' committee was objecting to a six-month extension of the exclusivity period to push through a takeover by rival Simon Property Group
But Michael Stamer of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, who is representing the creditors' committee, said they liked Simon's offer but were not committed to the largest U.S. mall owner.
Activist investor William Ackman, who is General Growth's largest shareholder and a director, was also present at the hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper.
General Growth has unveiled a plan backed by Brookfield Asset Management
Simon had given a term sheet for its bid to General Growth on Tuesday night and the company had opened up its data room to give suitors access to information about it on Wednesday morning, said the company's lawyer, Marcia Goldstein of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Simon's term sheet was the same as the one General Growth had already snubbed, Goldstein said.
General Growth also said it had restructured $11.6 billion of $14.9 billion of property-related debt, and was close to working out a deal covering 24 loans totaling $1.5 billion.
General Growth, which owns more than 200 malls, became the largest U.S. real estate failure in history when it filed for bankruptcy in April last year. Its properties include such malls as Fashion Show in Las Vegas, Ala Moana Center in Hawaii and Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston.
General Growth's shares were up 3.1 percent at $13.62 in over-the-counter trade on Wednesday afternoon, while in midday trading, while shares of Simon were down 0.3 percent at $77.76.
The case is In re: General Growth Properties Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-11977.
(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; writing by Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Matthew Lewis)