General Growth Update
By Brad Ritter and Derek Smith
On April 16, 2009, General Growth Properties, Inc. (GGP), and nearly 400 related entities (together, the Debtors), filed for bankruptcy protection under chapter 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code) in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Allen Gropper presiding, commencing the largest real estate bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Over the past several years, GGP had acquired The Rouse Company, assumed roughly $18.4 billion in debt, and became the second-largest owner of shopping malls in the U.S. The GGP business is run as an integrated enterprise with management centralized in its Chicago headquarters. Aside from basic operational needs which are handled at the property level the centralized system provides national support for substantially all aspects of business operations, including accounting, business development, construction, contracts, human resources, and the like. GGPs cash needs are mostly met by collection of rents from its shopping centers and other properties.