CHICAGO-General Growth Properties Inc., the locally-basedbankrupt mall REIT, has asked the court for a couple of extensionson its $8.5-billion reorganization plan with Toronto-basedBrookfield Asset Management. The motions by GGP, which is chairedby John Bucksbaum, were filed last week with the US BankruptcyCourt for the Southern District of New York.

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While the trust said it expects to file its Chapter 11 Plan ofReorganization and accompanying disclosure statement on July 9, GGPalso has filed motions with the court requesting an extension ofits exclusive period in which to file the plan through Oct. 18, andits exclusive period to solicit acceptances of such a plan throughDec. 16. The current exclusivity periods are scheduled to expire onJuly 15 and Sept. 15, respectively.

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Though the trust expects to file its plan within the currentexclusivity period, the requested extension is integral to GGP’sstrategy to maximize value upon emergence, according to a statementby the REIT. “The extension would allow GGP to continue to exploreall financing emergence options available to it and to complementor replace existing financing commitments on an exclusive basis,”the trust said in its statement.

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A trust official did not respond to questions about theextensions. After Simon Property Group dropped its bid toacquire the company, GGP has been tying up loose endsto emerge from bankruptcy. For example, the trust is disputing anarbitration request and asking the bankruptcy judge to evaluate andrule on claims by former investors in Hughes Corp., which hadjoined GGP in a venture to develop a 22,500-acre master-plannedcommunity near Las Vegas called Summerlin.

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