Blackstone Group selling stake in General Growth

Blackstone Group selling minority stake in mall operator General Growth Properties

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Asset manager Blackstone Group LP plans to sell a minority stake in mall operator General Growth Properties Inc., a company that it helped exit from bankruptcy.

In August 2010, Blackstone Group agreed to invest about $500 million for shares in General Growth once it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. An investor group comprised of Canadian property manager Brookfield Asset Management Inc., The Fairholme Fund and William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management had agreed to provide up to $8.5 billion in capital to finance General Growth's exit from bankruptcy.

General Growth, a real estate investment trust, said Tuesday that Blackstone and affiliates will sell approximately 23.4 million shares of common stock — or a 2.5 percent interest — in its company through a secondary offering.

General Growth currently has 939.4 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet.

Chicago-based General Growth said that it won't receive any proceeds from the stock sale by Blackstone. No price or timing was disclosed.

Shares of General Growth fell 52 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $22.81 in afternoon trading on Tuesday. The stock has traded between $15.85 and $23.33 over the last year. Blackstone Group shares rose 40 cents to $22.89.