TORONTO, ONTARIO — (Marketwire) — 08/23/12 — Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM) notes a Schedule 13D filing with the SEC made today by Pershing Square which references a letter sent by it to the Board of Directors of General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP)(NYSE:GGP).“Brookfield is not taking any steps to acquire GGP.……” um, but they are. By buying Fairholme’s stake and investing in a DRIP, they are in fact increasing their stake. If this continues, um….they’ll own it. One also has to consider BAM has substantial representation on GGP ‘s Board that is authorizing GGP to buy back shares and shrink the float. When they shrink the float they increase BAM’s ownership percentage using shareholder’s money rather than their own. They are in fact “taking steps” to acquire GGP, they are just doing it very slowly.
In response, Brookfield makes the following statements:
Brookfield is not taking any steps to acquire GGP nor is it having any discussions with third parties in that regard.
Brookfield has no interest in selling its stake in GGP. We are 100% supportive of the current management team of GGP and believe that GGP’s business plan has and will continue to create significant long term value for all stakeholders. When Brookfield was chosen as an investor in GGP, it was explicitly on the basis that we were a long term investor. We have invested considerable capital, time and attention to support management and the Board as they enhance the value of GGP for all concerned. The results to date bear testimony to their success.
Over the past 12 months, at the request of Pershing Square, Brookfield considered and discussed a variety of possible transactions which would facilitate Pershing Square’s desire to maximize the value of and create liquidity for its interest in GGP. These discussions are not continuing.
Brookfield has fully complied with all of the agreements put in place at the time of the recapitalization of GGP. All shares of GGP which we acquired are in accordance with those agreements and are a demonstration of our faith in the future of GGP. We own approximately 40% of GGP (on a fully diluted basis) with a value of over $8 billion. Brookfield is a proud shareholder of GGP and we intend to remain so over the long term.
The rest is just gibberish about supporting management, complying with their terms in agreements etc…
The big line is they are not taking steps to acquire it………they most assuredly are..