August 27, 2012 / 6:07 PM / 5 years ago

Ackman again urges General Growth to sell to Simon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager William Ackman on Monday again urged the board of mall owner General Growth Properties Inc (GGP.N) to enter into talks with larger rival Simon Property Group (SPG.N), after Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO), General Growth’s largest shareholder, said it was not interested in acquiring all of the company.

“GGP’s Board currently has the ability to take steps to prevent Brookfield from unfairly expropriating control from other GGP shareholders,” Ackman, head of Pershing Square Capital Management LP, wrote in a letter to the board. A copy of the letter was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

It was the latest salvo in growing public dispute between Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management and Brookfield, that started last week.

Ackman last week told General Growth’s board that Brookfield was trying to use its position to acquire all of General Growth for as little as possible.

Brookfield, which has about a 42 percent stake in General Growth, last week responded saying it was not interested in acquiring the entire company nor selling its current stake. Finally, Brookfield said it had talked to Pershing Square, at the hedge fund’s request, about ”a variety of possible transactions’ which would help Pershing sell its 8 percent stake in General Growth.

    “At no time has Pershing Square sought liquidity for its GGP stake in conversations with Brookfield, Simon or otherwise,” Ackman wrote in Monday’s letter.

    Reporting By Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Tim Dobbyn

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