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CHICAGO-By midnight Sunday, it was still not clear whether General Growth Properties, based here, was able to convince lenders that it deserves another extension of a $900 million loan it has out for its Las Vegas properties. Though GGP was able to close $896 million in loans for other properties on Friday, another loan deadline came and went that day, with no word on whether the seven lenders would accept extension terms or would order the loan in default, which would devastate GGP and possibly force the retail REIT into bankruptcy. It has been reported, however, that Citigroup has become the thorn in the trust’s side this weekend, rebuffing extension agreements even though the other six lenders agree.

Citigroup reportedly balked two weeks ago during refinancing talks, forcing the tiny two-week extension that ended Friday. The other lenders, which include Wachovia Corp., Bank of America, Deutsche Bank AG, Eurohypo AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., are reportedly willing to play along to help keep GGP afloat, but it’s been reported that this weekend, Citigroup heaped requirement upon requirement for the REIT to meet. No official word was available from any of the companies involved, other than a statement Friday from the trust that negotiations are ongoing, but that there’s no guarantee an extension will be obtained.

The trust, which has already consulted with attorney firm Sidley Austin in regard to possible bankruptcy, has said that it could face Chapter 11 unless this $900 is refinanced. Up for sale are the properties in question: Fashion Show Mall, Shoppes at the Palazzo and Grand Canal Shops, though it’s doubtful that buyers will be found in this down market.

On a positive note, the trust was able to raise the $896 million, used to retire a $58 million bond issued by the GGP-purchased Rouse Co. that matured Thursday, and to refinance about $814 million of mortgage indebtedness scheduled to mature in 2009. These new loans range from five to seven years. The company has more than $2 billion in loans coming due by the end of 2009.

The firm has made other strides to create a changed atmosphere, including the removal of former CEO John Bucksbaum and president Robert Michaels from their positions. The company’s stock has rebounded slightly–after dropping to 35 cents per share in mid-November, the trust saw $2 a share for a few minutes at the start of Friday trading, and the price held to close at $1.80 per share – though much lower than the $30 range the REIT saw earlier this year.

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