At a conference in Beverly Hills, CA on Tuesday, CEO David Simonsaid Blackstone was interested in working with Simon on the deal.Initially, Blackstone was interested in joining Simon in buying outthe entire company. According to reports, Simon is quoted assaying, Blackstone's "number one focus has been on being ourpartner if we're able to buy the company. But I think they areconsidering whether they want to buy some stock as part of a recapas well."

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This is just one more step in the on going bidding war betweenIndianapolis-based Simon and Toronto-based Brookfield AssetManagement.

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On April 14, after a $9 per share takeover attempt was rejected,Indianapolis-based announced another bid to acquireGGP, which has been working on a $6.5-billion reorganizationplan in bankruptcy court with assistance from investors such asBrookfield. Simon promised to match the Brookfield plan "but on abasis very substantially more favorable to GGP and its equityholders."

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As GlobeSt.com reported earlier in April, Simon isjoined by Paulson & Co., ING Clarion Real Estate Securities,Oak Hill Advisors, RREEF and Taconic Capital Advisors in its bidfor GGP. Jointly the companies have pledged to invest $2.1 billionin GGP.

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At the same time, J. Bruce Flatt, CEO and senior managingpartner with Brookfield, said in a letter to GGP officials thatSimon likely just wants to take over their company and that Simon'soffer could result in anti-trust trouble.

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