A bankruptcy court approved General Growth Properties’ (GGP) disclosure statement, bringing the shopping mall owner closer to emerging from bankruptcy.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved GGP’s disclosure statement and voting solicitation procedures for a vote on its reorganization plan. The court also scheduled a hearing on the company’s reorganization plan for Oct. 21.

The company disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether former and current company executives broke insider trading laws. Company executives and board members sold nearly $120 million in stock in September and early October of 2008. Also, private equity firm The Blackstone Group will buy a 5% stake in General Growth for $500 million, the company disclosed in bankruptcy court documents.

GGP, which filed for bankruptcy in April 2009, has restructured roughly $15 billion in debt since last December. It amended its restructuring plan earlier this month to reinstate $1.3 billion of Rouse Bonds due 2012 and 2013.

It will also change its clawback feature to allow GGP to issue equity at higher prices and retire some lower-priced equity.

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