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CHICAGO-General Growth Properties Inc. has closed on the first stage of a secured mortgage loan facility with proceeds of $875 million. The company expects to receive an additional $875 million from an additional loan, according to a statement released by the company. A representative from the company did not return a phone call seeking comment.

The proceeds of the first stage of the financing were used to repay loans maturing in the third quarter of 2008, according to a statement from the company. A $73 million property loan due in September will not be paid with the proceeds due to a prepayment penalty. The $73 million loan is expected to be paid with the second stage of the financing, in addition to possibly up to six property loans that would mature in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Some of the proceeds from the second stage are also expected to be used for “other general corporate purposes,” according to the statement. The company, led by John Bucksbaum, owns an interest in or manages more than 200 regional shopping malls in 44 states as well as ownership in planned community developments and office buildings. The company has a portfolio of approximately 200 million sf of retail space with more than 24,000 retail stores.

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