The head of Simon Property Group Inc
We've had this long dance on the NDA, nondisclosure agreement, David Simon, chairman and chief executive of Simon Property Group, said at the Citi 2010 Global Property CEO Conference. They wanted a lot of restrictions in that -- you couldn't talk to partners; you couldn't talk to financial sources. We finally got one we can live with; we signed one (a week ago) Monday. We have yet to see any data.
Separately, Simon filed amended objections to General Growth's request to extend the period it has in bankruptcy court to exclusively file a reorganization plan.
Simon has offered to buy General Growth, the No. 2 U.S. mall owner, for $10 billion in cash, which it says includes about $9 per share for stockholders. Chicago-based General Growth, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April, has rebuffed Simon's offer and instead is pursuing a plan to emerge from bankruptcy as a stand-alone company.
General Growth has said the stand-alone plan is meant to serve as a stalking horse, which other bidders will have to top. It said the offer would give shareholders $15 per share and repay creditors in cash and stock.
However, the plan, which includes a cash infusion or debt relief from Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management
I have been told the company is going to present its proposal, the one with Brookfield, sometime in mid-April to get the stalking horse status, David Simon said.
In a court filing, the creditors committee said that General Growth is proposing an April 13 hearing to consider Brookfield's bid protections.
The General Growth/Brookfield plan also includes a provision in which General Growth's largest shareholder, hedge fund manager William Ackman, would give Brookfield a quarter of its profits above $12.75 per share should another offer be accepted.
Ackman, therefore, now has a unique and personal interest in making sure that Brookfield is approved as General Growth's stalking horse, Simon said in its court filing.
Representatives from General Growth and Ackman did not return calls for comment.
A hearing granting General Growth a six-month extension is scheduled for March 3. The official committee of GGP's unsecured creditors and Simon have objected to the extension. The creditors committee said a 45-day extension would be more appropriate.
The official committee of equity security holders supports the six-month extension.
Shares of General Growth, which trade on the pink sheets, were unchanged at $13.05. Simon's shares were at $78.18, off 0.3 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Dave Zimmerman, Steve Orlofsky, Phil Berlowitz)