The Real Deal New York

No buyout deal with GGP: Brookfield Property CEO

Brian Kingston says rumor to take over REIT has no substance
By Rich Bockmann | February 05, 2016 12:05PM

Brookfield Property Partners executives Friday threw cold water on a rumor that the company is planning a buyout of retail giant General Growth Properties.

“We’re happy with our GGP investments in their current form,” Brookfield Property CEO Brian Kingston said on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call.

There’s been speculation since Reuters reported last Friday that Toronto-based Brookfield, which owns 34 percent of the mall REIT, would look to buyout and privatize the company.

GGP is the country’s second largest mall REIT behind rival Simon Properties with a market capitalization of nearly $25 billion. The company owns 120 malls in the country with 125 million square feet under management. In New York City, It Owns The Staten Island Mall And High Street retail assets such as 685, 522 and 730 Fifth Avenue.

Lending credence to the rumor was the fact that Brookfield in January made a bid to take Rouse Properties private amid an atmosphere where many REITS are trading at a significant discount to their underlying asset values.

GGP CEO Sandeep Mathrani declined to comment on the issue during his earnings call Tuesday, and Kingston said there’s no substance to the rumor.

“I’m not surprised this has come out, but there’s nothing imminent and there’s nothing to report on at this point.”

Correction: A previous version of this posted included a photo incorrectly identified as Brookfield Property Partners CEO Brian Kingston.