The mall owner General Growth Properties Inc. said Friday morning that it had retired or refinanced almost $900 million of debt, though the refi was unrelated to the major debt deadline the struggling real estate investment trust faced that day.
The company obtained $896 million of mortgages, which it used to retire a $58 million bond that matured Thursday and refinance $814 million of mortgages maturing next year.
The loans are separate from the $900 million of debt that was due for repayment Friday and backed by two malls in Las Vegas, according to General Growth.
It said that it was continuing discussions with its lenders on those two loans, and that there was no assurance it would get further extensions.
If no agreement is reached on those loans, which were originally due Nov. 28, the company's banks could declare it in default, triggering cross-defaults on other debt and forcing General Growth to seek bankruptcy protection.
General Growth, the second-largest U.S. mall owner by number of properties, had said last month that a failure to refinance or extend $1 billion of debt due that month could trigger default on billions of dollars of debt, and that its ability to continue operations would be in "substantial doubt."
Three weeks ago Citigroup Inc. scuttled a proposed nine-month extension on the deadline by withholding its approval and demanding a concession on a different loan in return.
Six other banking companies had agreed to the extension.