Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who Is Buying GGP Stock These Days?

Columbia developer General Growth Properties has lost its listing in the Standard & Poors 500 index. This morning the stock was trading at $0.51 a share. There is wide speculation that a bankruptcy filing by the firm is imminent.

Who would want to buy this stock?

William Ackman. Bill Ackman and his private hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, have been busy buying up shares of GGP since last fall when all of the news about GGP’s financial position was bad. The fund is now the largest individual shareholder in the company.

What is Mr. Ackman up to?

Basically he believes that the underlying real estate assets of the company are worth more than the stock. According to this story by Todd Sullivan on the blog Seeking Alpha,

“Bankruptcy usually leaves stock investors with plenty of nothing, but General Growth is an unusual case. It has almost $30 billion of assets on its books, and just about $27 billion of debt. But most of the company's real estate assets are recorded on its books at their historical value, and many were bought years ago, meaning their value now is likely substantially higher. The company's problems are not with its assets, but with refinancing maturing debt in frozen markets.”


PZGURU said...

I thought for sure you (Bill) and all the pro-redevelopment groups would be buying GGP stock. I mean, once the plan is rubber stamped, err, I mean approved throught the completely legitimate, oh so non-political process, the value of the stock is bound to go back up significantly in comparison to its current value.

Hell, I would have bought some myself, by I have principles, and will not simply abandon them to make a buck.

Not me said...

Who's Bill?

PZGURU said...

Whoops - sorry for the mental lapse there. That should have said "Dennis". Apologies to Bill.

Anonymous said...

I see you're back at it again pzguru.
Have you talked to anyone yet?

Anonymous said...

Back at what? What's the history?

PZGURU said...

Dear HH - I think it's a legitimate question. For those people, including the Planning Board, the CE, and the Councilmembers, who support the GGP redevelopment plan, who owns GGP stock and how much? Anyone who owns GGP stock should recuse themself from any vote or discussion on the zoning application.

HH - keep throwing knives from behind that curtain. Bravo to you!

Anonymous said...

Who's throwing knives? Have you taken my suggestion and sought counseling to remediate your anger against the elected people in Howard County government?

Anonymous said...

PZ makes sense. When inexplicable decisions are made by those in office, it very often is connected by money and/or relationships that no one wants taxpayers to discover.

PZGURU said...

HH - you make me laugh. You don't think the ownership of stock in a company that is petition for a zoning change that could multiply the value of that stock by several fold is relevant? You're either an idiot, or an elected official who owns stock in GGP, or someone who thinks it ok for elected officials to be corrupt.

I only expect honesty and integrity in elected officials. Don't you?

If I don't think they are acting honestly and with integrity, I will challenge them on it.

I understand that the blogger is not an elected official; however, as (1) someone who has the pulpit of a general circulation newspaper in Howard County, and (2) a very vocal supporter of the GGP plan, I think my question to the blogger is legitimate and fair.

If he wants to duck the question, then he's entitled to do so.

wordbones said...


I suppose any question that you put forward here is legitimate and fair, in your mind.

In this case I happen to disagree. I also think you way over estimate my influence.


PZGURU said...

And you and HH think every question I ask is somehow unfair. I just think it would be very clarifying to see if people who own GGP stock are also the people pushing the hardest for zoning approval.

It's probably a less relevant question for you since you are not on the Planning Board or the County Council, however, you are an ardent supporter of the plan (and you have the right to do so -but I think the question would shed light on your motivations for supporting the plan).

Anonymous said...

PZ you're a genuine republican but these guys run a personal agenda wrapped in capitalism wrapped in republican ideals. Very different agenda from genine Rs, and for that matter, from capitalists.

They will only agree with you when it feeds their personal situation, even though your info is dead-on.