GGP, Simon Debate ‘Process’

A new chapter has emerged in the now very public back-and-forth between General Growth Properties (GGP) and Simon Property Group regarding Simon's attempt to acquire the bankrupt mall owner.

‘I want to reiterate that our offer is not open-ended, and we have a number of other opportunities under consideration,’ Simon's CEO, David Simon, wrote to GGP management Wednesday. ‘We sincerely hope you will engage seriously with us without further delay.’

Earlier this week, Simon revealed that GGP, which filed for Chapter 11protection last spring, had been unresponsive to Simon's $10 billion bid, despite the fact that GGP's unsecured creditors have reportedly thrown their support behind the offer.

Simon's Feb. 15 statement quotes Michael Stamer, counsel for the GGP creditors' committee, as saying,
‘Full cash payment to all unsecured creditors and the substantial recovery for equity holders that Simon has proposed would be a great result. We fully support and encourage prompt engagement by the company with Simon."

CEO Adam Metz, in a written reply to Simon Tuesday, referred to the offer as an ‘unsoliticited indication of interest,’ adding that the it ‘is not sufficient to preempt the process we are undertaking to explore all avenues to emerge from Chapter 11.’

On Wednesday Simon wrote to Metz once more.

"While you pay lip service to time being of the essence, the "process' outlined in your letter will take many months before a transaction could be agreed and made available to stakeholders," Simon wrote.

"We are unwilling to waste our time and resources in a process not conducted on a level playing field, that is dragged out to provide an unfair advantage to any party, or that will serve any agenda other than maximizing return for General Growth's stakeholders," Simon states later in the letter.

The banter took another turn Thursday, as Metz offered a terse reply:

"Reference is made to your letter dated February 17. As we have previously stated, our objective is to maximize value for the company and its stakeholders, and we are engaging in a process that is intended to accomplish that result in an expeditious manner. Understandably, your objectives are not aligned with ours. We hope you will, nonetheless, participate in our process."



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