Any hopes that Simon Property Group executives had that they could force a quick resolution to the General Growth saga have been doused now that the Chicago-based REIT has shown it is not going to be pushed over without a fight.
Yesterday’s announcement of a $8.3 billion recapitalization plan that includes a $2.63 billion equity commitment from Canadian firm Brookfield Asset Management, along with a scheme to split General Growth in two, has created a $15 per share value floor for the REIT. That, in turn, could force Simon to sweeten its $9 per share offer or at the very least work even harder to prove to General Growth’s shareholders, creditors and the bankruptcy court that its offer is truly superior. In addition, the bidding may get even more complicated with news that Australian limited property trust Westfield Group, like Simon, has signed a non-disclosure agreement with General Growth Properties and could be prepping its own bid. (The non-disclosure agreements allow both Simon and Westfield to talk with potential joint venture partners.)