Judge Green Lights GGP's Restructuring Plan

General Growth Properties Inc., the second-largest U.S. mall owner, said it won permission from a bankruptcy judge to restructure about $10.25 billion in debt at some of its shopping centers and office buildings.

The Chapter 11 plan approved yesterday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper extends the company's various loans, making none due before 2014, according to a company statement distributed by Business Wire. The plan covers 103 properties and 87 loan agreements. It leaves six more sets of properties, each with a number of leases, under court protection, Anup Sathy, a lawyer for the company, told the judge.

Confirmation of General Growth's plan is significant because it resolves concerns about potential bankruptcy problems at other real estate companies that have also tried to shield assets using special-purpose entities, Gropper said in court earlier yesterday.

“Confirmation of these plans of reorganization is a monumental step towards completion of GGP's overall corporate restructuring,” Thomas H. Nolan Jr., the company's president and chief operating officer, said in yesterday's statement.


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