Friday, March 20, 2009

GGP's Day of Reckoning?

I guess we will see.

[General Growth's] most critical deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, when it hopes the majority of its bondholders will have agreed to refrain from demanding payment this year on $2.25 billion in bonds. If that effort fails, General Growth says it might need to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Metz and Nolan are cleaning house, too:
Leaving General Growth this week are Jean Schlemmer, chief development officer; Alex Berman, senior vice president of the mall owner's international division; human-resources chief Judy Herbst; and investor-relations director Tim Goebel. None returned messages seeking comment Thursday. Their departures follow that of Thomas D'Alesandro, General Growth's senior vice president of development, who left Feb. 27.
And the Tribune reports that a Chapter 11 could occur within hours absent a reprieve:
This Chicago-based real estate giant has stopped paying some of its bills, and has avoided bankruptcy so far only because the lenders have cooperated. But it has billions of dollars in loans coming due, and a deadline Friday for a partial extension. Without it, a costly court-supervised workout may be inevitable.

All across the commercial real estate business, playing for time has become an art form. Debt payments can't be made if nobody has the money. Refinancing can't happen if nobody is lending. Assets can't be sold if nobody is buying.

So everybody's stuck.
Significant progress had been made earlier on concessions from the bondholders, but without the requisite percentages the next moves could be anywhere. There could be another extension, a filing, a BK filing, nothing at all...we are in wait and see mode. I want to see the place there, so I am hoping for an outcome favorable to the company in all events.

Thanks to Multi-Family Guide for pointing this out on Twitter.

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