Mall Operator Files for Bankruptcy Protection

CHICAGO (AP) - General Growth Properties Inc. - the nation's second-largest mall operator - says it's filed for bankruptcy after failing to convince its debt holders to give it more time to refinance its crushing debt.

The company owns three malls in Oklahoma including Quail Springs Mall in Oklahoma City, Sooner Mall in Norman and Washington Park Mall in Bartlesville.

The Chicago-based real estate investment trust said early today it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a New York court. Some 158 regional shopping centers under its control also filed for bankruptcy protection.

General Growth says it received a financing commitment from Pershing Square Capital Management LP of about $375 million and expects it will be able to continue operating its malls as it reorganizes.

The company says it has about $29.6 billion in assets and more than $27 billion in liabilities.

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