General Growth, the second-largest U.S. shopping mall owner, bought back about 28 million shares from Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP for $556 million, the company said today in a statement. The hedge-fund firm had sold another 25 million shares for $500 million in September.
Ackman helped rescue General Growth from near-collapse by pushing it to file for bankruptcy in 2009, and was part of an investor group in its subsequent restructuring. The effort “turned $60 million into $1.6 billion,” the hedge-fund manager told Bloomberg News in 2011, and contributed to his flagship fund’s net return of 29 percent in 2010.
General Growth “used available liquidity to fund the repurchase transaction,” the company said in the statement. “Pershing Square no longer holds any common shares of the company.”
General Growth shares have climbed 3.2 percent in the past 12 months and are up about 60 percent since the company’s 2010 exit from bankruptcy.
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