GGP considering $14.8 billion takeover offer

Work proceeds on The SoNo Collection recently.

NORWALK, Conn. — Brookfield Properties’ attempted takeover of GGP, the mall developer building The SoNo Collection here, is official.

Last week, GGP’s stock prices jumped on reports that Brookfield was seeking to buy a significant amount of stock. On Saturday, GGP released a statement confirming Brookfield’s major move.

GGP’s board of directors “received an unsolicited proposal” from Brookfield “to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of GGP other than those shares currently held by BPY and its affiliates (which represent approximately 34% of the outstanding shares of GGP’s common stock),” the statement said.

GGP has formed a special committee to consider the proposal, in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, the statement said.

Bloomberg news characterized this as a $14.8 billion offer, a “low-ball bid.”

Bloomberg and Crain’s Business Journal reported Tuesday that if GGP accepts that offer, or anything like it, that would signal that even Class A mall values have dropped.

“The opening salvo by Brookfield, the real estate arm of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., may be just the first step in a protracted process that could draw additional bidders, and a substantially higher price. No one ever accepts the first offer, according to Alexander Goldfarb, an analyst at Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP,” Crain reported.

GGP CEO Sandeep Mathrani in May said the company was going to explore liquidating some assets but in August reversed that statement. That caused stock prices to drop.

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