General Growth spends USD 567 million to buy back shares
General Growth Properties Inc said it had conducted a share buyback worth USD 567 million. The real estate investment trust repurchased most of its shares from Pershing Square Capital Management, the firm owned by hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. The deal was paid for in cash. General Growth Properties is the second biggest owner of shopping malls in the US.
In a statement, General Growth Properties said its board of directors gave the approval to reacquire 28.3 million shares. Each share carried an average price of USD 20 each. Yesterday, the Chicago-based REIT purchased 25 million shares from Pershing Square Capital for USD 20 per share.
According to General Growth Properties Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Mathrani, the repurchased shares had a 6% capitalization rate. "This is a discount to private-market valuation for high-quality U.S. retail properties," he said. Because of the buyback, the total shares outstanding of General Growth was reduced to an estimated 964 million shares.