Steeplegate Mall parent ends bankruptcy

General Growth Properties has ended its long and at times contentious bankruptcy, the largest real estate bankruptcy in U.S. history.Chicago-based GGP – which owns Steeplegate Mall in Concord and more than 180 similar properties across the country – has split into two independent public companies, both of which have begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange.GGP put together a reorganization deal with several equity investors, including Brookfield Asset Management, Fairholme Funds Inc. Pershing Square Capital Management and Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Officials said the company was able to restructure $15 billion in debt, recapitalize with $6.8 billion in new equity capital, pay all creditor claims in full and achieve recovery for equity holders.Sandeep Mathrani of Vornado Realty Trust, a New York-based real estate investment firm, has been hired as chief executive officer. The legacy company spun off two new, independent firms as part of the reorganization. The new General Growth Properties retained the name and owns the legacy company’s shopping malls. It trades on the NYSE under the symbol GGP.On Nov. 10, it made a public offering of 135 million shares of common stock of New GGP.The Howard Hughes Corp., the other spin-off company, holds legacy GGP’s portfolio of master-planned communities and other real estate developments. This company trades under the ticker symbol HHC. General Growth Properties, one of the country’s largest real estate investment trusts , filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2009 to restructure some $27 billion in debt.Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, owner of Mall of New Hampshire, Rockingham Park Mall in Salem and Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, made repeated offers to acquire GGP, but was rebuffed in favor of the investor-backed deal. Simon also owns the premium outlet mall that is currently under construction in Merrimack and is scheduled to open in 2012. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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