5 Dec 2011

Centro cleared for restructuring

8:25 am on 5 December 2011

Centro Properties in Australia has cleared its last hurdle to restructuring, after a court gave final approval to a plan, which had been held up by former auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers.

If a reorganisation with Centro Retail, an affiliate, had not received approval by Friday's deadline, the company would have gone into receivership with $A2.7 billion in debt due to mature later this month.

Last week, shareholders in Australia's second-largest shopping mall owner approved a plan to create a new $A3.4 billion listed property trust.

Centro incurred heavy debts with an ill-timed expansion into the United States just before the 2008 global financial crisis.

Earlier this year, it sold nearly 600 US shopping malls for $A9.4 billion to Blackstone Group, a private equity fund.