Mall Operator Shares Plunge on Viability Concerns

Shares of General Growth Properties fell 73 percent on Tuesday after the second-largest U.S. mall owner expressed doubts that it could continue operating due to its 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 on the two of its Las Vegas shopping centers due on November 28 and $58 million of corporate debt due on December 1. It also faces another $3.07 billion due next year, the company said on Monday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"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."

Shares of General Growth Properties were down $1 at 37 cents in early morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. About a year ago, the stock sold for as high as $51.24.