UPDATE 2-U.S. mall owner General Growth's quarterly profit beats Street

Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:00pm EDT
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* 2nd-qtr FFO 27 cents/shr vs Wall Street forecast of 25 cents

* Company raises lower end of its full-year forecast

* Plans to exit Brazilian shopping mall company

* Raises dividend by 1 cent per share

By Ilaina Jonas

NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) - General Growth Properties Inc said on Monday it had a 17 percent increase in a key measure of quarterly profit, beating Wall Street expectations, and said it had reached an agreement to sell its stake in a Brazilian shopping center company.

The No. 2 U.S. mall owner after Simon Property Group Inc , said it agreed to sell its stake in Brazilian shopping center owner Aliansce Shopping Centers SA to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and a Brazilian company, Rique Empreendimentos e Participacoes Ltda, for about $690 million. The deals are expected to close in the third quarter.

General Growth had a 40 percent stake in Aliansce at the end of last year, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. General Growth did not provide details on the sale, but the Canadian pension plan said it had agreed to buy a 27.6 percent stake in Aliansce for $480 million.

Since emerging from bankruptcy at the end of 2010, General Growth has culled its portfolio of properties down to its most productive U.S. malls. It ended the second quarter with 123 U.S. malls, down from more than 200 properties in 2010. It has pared its portfolio to its best producing malls, lifting its average rent and sales per square foot.   Continued...