Shares of mall owner GGP drop after halting strategic alternative plan – STLtoday.com

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NEW YORK • Shares of GGP Inc., the owner of Plaza Frontenac, St. Louis Galleria and other malls and regional shopping centers, fell sharply on Wednesday after the company said it would stay the course and not sell assets following a board review of all “strategic alternatives” announced in May.

The stock was down 5.4 percent at $21.80 in morning trading, after earlier tumbling more than 8 percent. Shares had jumped 4.6 percent on May 1 when GGP said it was reviewing “all strategic alternatives.”

GGP Chief Executive Sandeep Mathrani said on a call with analysts that there was a tremendous amount of embedded value in its assets and that proceeding with GGP’s current strategy would produce the best long-term results for shareholders.

“We felt there was a lot of meat on the bone that the board didn’t want to leave on the table,” Mathrani said. “We will continue to lease, lease, lease,” he said.

Mathrani said in May that there was a wide discount between public and private markets and that some of the parts were far greater than GGP’s stock price.

On Wednesday, Mathrani said that gap remained but surprised analysts by saying the best way forward was to stay the course.

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