General Growth has reached a deal with its lenders to restructure mortgages on 70 malls. It hopes to reach similar agreements on other properties based on this one. It announced the pact during a bankruptcy court hearing. The Wall Street Journal and Reuters have stories so far.
From the WSJ:
Attorneys for General Growth, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since April, outlined rough details of the deal before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper. But they didn't touch on details such as the total amount of debt covered by the deal. General Growth intends to use the pact as a template for negotiating deals with the rest of its many creditors, its attorneys said. They requested a confirmation hearing for the initial pact be set for Dec. 14.
The deal would extend the due dates on the mortgages by an average of six years to 2016 in return for General Growth providing those lenders "significant concessions" such as additional amortization payments on the loans, more reserves for the loans and additional bankruptcy protections for the lenders. General Growth's attorneys didn't quantify the total cost to the company. The lenders involved are servicers overseeing securitized mortgages and life-insurance companies including Prudential Financial Inc.
There have also been a couple of interesting posts in the blogosphere about General Growth, especially in light of the news that broke earlier this week that Simon may be prepping a bid for some or all of General Growth's properties.
David Stejkowski reviewed some earlier predictions about what he thought might happen with General Growth's bankruptcy. He thought Simon would own part of GGP and Westfield might be involved. And that's exactly what the story earlier this week indicated could happen.
Meanwhile, The CRE Review put up a lengthy post that examined a potential deal. It includes a link to an interactive map charting what a combined Simon and General Growth portfolio would look like. Here's a screen shot of the map. But you should go to the actual one if you really want to dig deep into the geography. The post also looks at the companies' debt loads and some of their largest tenants and features some illustrative charts. So there's a wealth of information there.