Simon Property Group Inc. (SPG) committed a $1.5 billion line of credit to its pursuit of General Growth Properties Inc. (GGP) and proposed two possible directors for General Growth's board as it outlined an improved proposal to pull its bidding target from bankruptcy.
The mall giant said it has agreed to backstop a $1.5 billion credit line necessary for General Growth to emerge from bankruptcy, "thus eliminating a great risk and uncertainty inherent in" a rival proposal from a group led by Brookfield Asset Management (BAM).
Simon also proposed that former Ernst & Young partner Dale Anne Reiss and Wharton real-estate professor Peter Linneman join General Growth's board, saying it would agree to limits of its governance rights, including capping voting rights at 20% and holding the right to designate two of nine General Growth board members. Brookfield's plan includes three board nominations.
In a letter to General Growth, Simon called its two board nominations "distinguished professionals with substantial real-estate expertise who are not affiliated with Simon."
Late Wednesday, Simon revised a recent offer to finance General Growth's bankruptcy exit, adding several new investors that would collectively put up an additional $1.1 billion.
Simon, which in February made a rejected $10 billion bid to buy General Growth out of bankruptcy outright, in recent days offered to match a $6.5 billion offer from the Brookfield-led group to help finance General Growth's exit from bankruptcy as a standalone company.
Simon Chief Executive David Simon was set to meet General Growth's board and top executives in Chicago Thursday to discuss the proposal further, people familiar with the plans told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
Shares of Simon declined 0.8% to $86.33 in recent trading, while General Growth was down 6cents to $15.36. The stocks have risen 8.2% and 32%, respectively, so far this year.
-By Nathan Becker, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2855; email@example.com;