Is the end near?
Debt-laden mall giant General Growth Properties Inc. has hired the law firm Sidley Austin as bankruptcy counsel while it negotiates with lenders for more time to restructure its $27 billion debt load.
The move doesn't mean a Chapter 11 filing is imminent. Financially distressed companies often hire bankruptcy advisers and never take that step.
General Growth declined to comment. Larry Nyhan, co-chair of Sidley Austin's bankruptcy practice, didn't return calls seeking comment.
General Growth's financial situation has steadily deteriorated this year and it's stock is trading for loose change. The company, which owns more than 200 U.S. malls, has struggled to repay debt it amassed during an acquisition binge near the market's peak. Hope has faded as retailers, in the face of slackening consumer spending, began closing stores, curbing expansion plans and, in some cases, going out of business.
Past links and stories:
- Nov. 17, 2008; General Growth Downgraded; Feldman to Stop Filing Public Reports
- Nov. 12, 2008; General Growth Roundup
- November 11, General Growth Warns of Default
- November 5, GGP, Kimco Fall After Cutting Forecasts
- November 2, General Growth "Almost Literally Worth Nothing"
- October 17, Management Changes at GGP
- October 15, Margin Calls Hit Two More Retail REITs
- October 7, General Growth Near Bankruptcy?
- October 3, General Growth CFO Steps Down; Company Suspends Dividend
- October 2, GGP Under Fire for Inclusion on Short-Sell Ban List
- October 1, Could General Growth Be Sold?
- September 23, Short Selling Banned on General Growth
- September 22, General Growth Strikes Back
- September 16, General Growth Offers More Recourse
- August 12, Another Look at GGP's Debt
- August 6, Analysis of GGP's Debt
- July 25, Stories With Bigger Implications?
- July 14, GGP Lines Up New Financing
- April 16, GGP's Growing Debt Problem