General Growth to record $537 million impairment for spinoff

GENERAL GROWTH PROPERTIES, the parent company of Providence Place, will record a charge of about $537 million related to the value of the spun-off Howard Hughes Corp.
Posted 11/17/10

CHICAGO - General Growth Properties Inc., the parent company of Providence Place, will record a charge of about $537 million related to the value of a spun-off company that owns master-planned communities and other properties.

The planned impairment of $1.68 a share is the difference between the carrying value of the assets and the market value of Howard Hughes Corp., the company that was split off, Chicago-based General Growth said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

The mall owner exited the biggest real estate bankruptcy in U.S. history on Nov. 9 and split itself into two companies. General Growth filed for Chapter 11 protection in April 2009 after weighing itself down with $27 billion in debt that it was unable to refinance because of the financial crisis and collapse of the market for commercial mortgage-backed securities.

The planned charge was announced after the close of regular U.S. stock-market trading on Thursday. General Growth’s shares fell $1.09, or 7.1 percent, to $14.31 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Howard Hughes fell 45 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $40.30.

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