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Now, is it just a coincidence with the Target (NYSE:TGT) situation? Ackman now has a 12.5% total interest in General Growth Properties (NYSE:GGP).

From the SEC Filing:

Item 5. Interest in Securities of the Issuer
(a), (b) Based upon the Issuer’s quarterly report on 9/30/08 10-Q, 268,314,510 Common Shares were outstanding as of November 10, 2008. Based on the foregoing, the Subject Shares represented approximately 7.5% of the Common Shares issued and outstanding as of such date.
Pershing Square, as the investment adviser to the Pershing Square Funds, may be deemed to have the shared power to vote or direct the vote of (and the shared power to dispose or direct the disposition of) the Subject Shares.

As the general partner of Pershing Square, PS Management may be deemed to have the shared power to vote or to direct the vote of (and the shared power to dispose of or direct the disposition of) the Subject Shares. As the general partner of Pershing Square, L.P. and Pershing Square II, L.P., Pershing Square GP may be deemed to have the shared power to vote or to direct the vote of (and the shared power to dispose or direct the disposition of) the Common Shares held for the benefit of Pershing Square, L.P. and Pershing Square II, L.P.

By virtue of William A. Ackman’s position as managing member of each of PS Management and Pershing Square GP, William A. Ackman may be deemed to have the shared power to vote or direct the vote of (and the shared power to dispose or direct the disposition of) the Subject Shares and, therefore, William A. Ackman may be deemed to be the beneficial owner of the Subject Shares for purposes of this Schedule 13D.
(c) Exhibit 99.2, which is incorporated by reference into this Item 5(c) as if restated in full herein, describes all of the transactions in Common Shares and Swaps that were effected during the past sixty days by the Reporting Persons for the benefit of the Pershing Square Funds.
(d) No other person is known to the Reporting Persons to have the right to receive or the power to direct the receipt of dividends from, or the proceeds from the sale of, the Common Shares covered by this Schedule 13D, except that dividends from, and proceeds from the sale of, the Common Shares held by the accounts managed by Pershing Square may be delivered to such accounts.
(e) Not applicable.


Item 6. Contracts, Arrangements, Understandings or Relationships with Respect to Securities of the Issuer
The Subject Shares are beneficially owned by the Reporting Persons. Furthermore, the Reporting Persons entered into Swaps for the benefit of Pershing Square, L.P. (the “PSLP Swaps”), Pershing Square II, L.P. (the “PSII Swaps”) and Pershing Square International, Ltd (the “PSIL Swaps”, collectively with the PSLP Swaps and PSII Swaps, the “Pershing Square Swaps”) on the dates described on Exhibit 99.2. The Pershing Square Swaps constitute economic exposure to approximately 12.5% notional outstanding Common Shares in the aggregate, have reference prices ranging from $0.49 to $0.70 and expire on the dates described on Exhibit 99.1.


Under the terms of the Pershing Square Swaps (i) the applicable Pershing Square Fund will be obligated to pay to the counterparty any negative price performance of the notional number of Common Shares subject to the applicable Pershing Square Swap as of the expiration date of such Swap, plus interest at the rates set forth in the applicable contracts, and (ii) the counterparty will be obligated to pay to the applicable Pershing Square Fund any positive price performance of the notional number of Common Shares subject to the applicable Pershing Square Swap as of the expiration date of the Swaps. With regard to certain of the Pershing Square Swaps, any dividends received by the counterparty on such notional Common Shares will be paid to the applicable Pershing Square Fund during the term of the Swap. With regard to the balance of the Pershing Square Swaps, any dividends received by the counterparty on such notional Common Shares during the term of the Swaps will be paid to the applicable Pershing Square Fund at maturity. All balances will be cash settled at the expiration date of the Swaps. The Pershing Square Funds’ third party counterparties for the Pershing Square Swaps include entities related to Citibank, Morgan Stanley and UBS.


The Pershing Square Swaps do not give the Reporting Persons direct or indirect voting, investment or dispositive control over any securities of the Issuer and do not require the counterparty thereto to acquire, hold, vote or dispose of any securities of the Issuer. Accordingly, the Reporting Persons disclaim any beneficial ownership of any Common Shares that may be referenced in such contracts or Common Shares or other securities or financial instruments that may be held from time to time by any counterparty to the contracts.


In addition to the agreements referenced above, the Reporting Persons from time to time, may enter into and dispose of additional cash-settled total return swaps or other similar derivative transactions with one or more counterparties that are based upon the value of Common Shares, which transactions could be significant in amount. The profit, loss and/or return on such additional contracts may be wholly or partially dependent on the market value of the Common Shares, relative value of the Common Shares in comparison to one or more other financial instruments, indexes or securities, a basket or group of securities in which the Common Shares may be included or a combination of any of the foregoing.

Full Filing

General Growth Properties recently expressed doubts it could keep operating due to looming near-term debt. The Chicago-based retail property company has $1.13 billion in debt coming due, including $900 million in secured mortgage debt due November 28 on two of its Las Vegas shopping centers and $58 million of corporate debt on December 1, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

It also faces another $3.07 billion due next year, according to the SEC filing.


"In the event that we are unable to extend or refinance our debt or obtain additional capital on a timely basis and on acceptable terms, we will be required to take further steps to acquire the funds necessary to satisfy our short term cash needs, including seeking legal protection from our creditors," the real estate investment trust said in the filing.

"Our potential inability to address our 2008 or 2009 debt maturities in a satisfactory fashion raises substantial doubts as to our ability to continue as a going concern."


Will Ackman provide some financing? This is going to be good... If nothing else, the words Ford (NYSE:F) or GM (NYSE:GM) will not enter the vocabulary.

Disclosure: None

Source: Ackman's Intriguing Position in General Growth Properties