Simon Property Group, Inc. announced that it has made a written offer to acquire General Growth Properties, Inc. (OTC Pink Sheets: GGWPQ) in a fully financed transaction valued at more than US $10 billion (approx. 7.26 bln.), including approximately $9 billion in cash. The text of Simon's February 8, 2010 offer letter to General Growth, as well as a letter Simon sent today to General Growth, are below.
Simon's offer would provide a 100% cash recovery of par value plus accrued interest and dividends to all General Growth unsecured creditors, the holders of its trust preferred securities, the lenders under its credit facility, the holders of its Exchangeable Senior Notes and the holders of Rouse bonds, immediately upon the effectiveness of a definitive transaction agreement. This consideration to creditors totals approximately $7 billion.
General Growth shareholders would receive more than $9.00 per General Growth share, consisting of $6.00 per share in cash and a distribution of General Growth's ownership interest in the Master Planned Community assets valued by General Growth at more than $3.00 per share. Simon is also prepared to offer Simon common equity instead of the cash consideration, in whole or in part, as payment to those General Growth shareholders or creditors who would prefer to participate in the upside of owning stock in Simon. Under Simon's offer, the existing secured debt on General Growth's portfolio of assets would remain in place.
The Official Committee of General Growth's Unsecured Creditors has advised Simon that it supports the Simon offer, and encourages General Growth to engage with Simon promptly to allow the proposed transaction to be considered by General Growth's creditors and shareholders as soon as possible.
David Simon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Simon's offer provides the best possible outcome for all General Growth stakeholders. Simon is in the unique position of being able to offer General Growth creditors and shareholders full, fair and immediate value. Our offer provides much-needed certainty to conclude General Growth's protracted reorganization process. We are confident it is the best option for all General Growth constituencies and far superior to any other third-party proposal or stand-alone plan that could be completed."
Simon continued, "This acquisition also offers a compelling value-creation opportunity for Simon shareholders. Simon's strong track record of successfully completing large acquisitions and our history of delivering superior property-level performance ideally position Simon to create additional value with General Growth's portfolio."
Michael Stamer, counsel for the Official Committee of General Growth's Unsecured Creditors, said, "Full cash payment to all unsecured creditors and the substantial recovery for equity holders that Simon has proposed would be a great result. We fully support and encourage prompt engagement by the company with Simon."
The transaction is not subject to a financing condition and would be financed through Simon's cash on hand and through equity co-investments in the acquisition by strategic institutional investors, with the balance coming from Simon's existing credit facilities. Simon expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to its Funds From Operations in the first year after closing.
Simon's offer is subject to confirmatory due diligence, which it believes can be completed within 30 days, and customary proceedings in the General Growth bankruptcy process, including bankruptcy court and creditor approvals. The transaction is also subject to negotiation of a definitive transaction agreement between Simon and General Growth which would provide for reasonable certainty of closing. Simon believes this can be accomplished promptly, simultaneously with the completion of confirmatory due diligence.
Lazard Ltd., J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are acting as financial advisors to Simon and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as legal advisor.
Source: Simon Property