Parent company of North Plains Mall struggling

Freedom New Mexico

Severe financial difficulties and the looming possibility of bankruptcy for the corporation that owns North Plains Mall is unlikely to cause noticeable changes at the mall for customers, a General Growth Properties spokesman said Monday.

GGP, the nation’s second-largest mall owner, is struggling to refinance billions in debt it took on during an aggressive expansion effort that included the $7 billion acquisition of a competitor in 2004. Now the company is trying to sell properties and operating rights to some facilities to bring in enough cash to pay the bills.

GGP owns or manages more than 200 shopping malls in 44 states, including Coronado Center in Albuquerque, The Animas Valley Mall in Farmington and the Rio West Mall in Gallup.

The company’s stock has tumbled from a high of more than $40 last May to