General Growth exits bankruptcy

By Reuters
Posted Nov. 9, 2010 at 5:16 p.m.

General Growth Properties Inc , the second-largest U.S. mall operator, said it has emerged from bankruptcy, one and a half years after becoming the biggest U.S. real estate company to seek Chapter 11 protection.

The Chicago-based operator of 183 shopping malls in 43 U.S. states said Tuesday it emerged from under protection from creditors after obtaining $6.8 billion of new capital and restructuring about $15 billion of debt.

General Growth operates properties, including the Ala Maona Center in Hawaii, Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, Harborplace in Baltimore and Water Tower Place in Chicago.

As part of its restructuring, General Growth spun off Howard Hughes Corp, which operates planned communities and other properties, including the South Street Seaport in downtown New York.

Shareholders of record as of Nov. 1 will receive stock in both companies. Howard Hughes, named for the late eccentric billionaire, is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “HHC.”

General Growth filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2009 after tight credit conditions left the company unable to refinance billions of dollars of maturing debt.

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