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General Growth continues debt talks


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POSTED: Saturday, February 14, 2009

NEW YORK » General Growth Properties Inc., the U.S. shopping-mall owner that said it may have to file for bankruptcy, is continuing discussions with lenders over $900 million in loans that came due Thursday.

General Growth owns and manages more than 200 shopping malls across the nation, including Ala Moana Center and Ward Centers.

“;We are definitely talking to everybody and hoping for a good resolution all around,”; Tim Goebel, a spokesman for the Chicago-based company, said in an interview.

General Growth had until Thursday to make payments on a $650 million loan on the Fashion Show Mall and a $250 million loan on the Shoppes at the Palazzo.

Creditors had granted an extension on the payments, originally due in November.

The two malls, both in Las Vegas, have been up for sale since October.

General Growth has said it may be forced to seek bankruptcy protection if it's unable to refinance debt.

Scott Helfman, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank AG, which is leading negotiations for General Growth's lenders, declined to comment. Goebel wouldn't say how close the Las Vegas malls are to being sold.

General Growth also missed a Wednesday deadline to pay a $57.6 million loan on Chico Mall, a 500,000-square-foot shopping mall in Chico, Calif., and on Monday it missed the deadline on a $95 million loan on Oakwood Center, a 360,000-square-foot mall in Gretna, La.

The mall landlord missed a Feb. 1 deadline to pay a $225 million secured short-term loan obtained in October and November. That loan can be extended for 60 days at the discretion of the lender, which General Growth didn't identify, according to a Nov. 10 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.