Simon Property Group's unsolicited $10 billion offer for General Growth Properties is likely to be just an opening bid, if Simon wins the portfolio at all. GGP's initial response was less than enthusiastic: CEO Adam Metz responded in a letter that the offer was not enough to stop the company from exploring other options or buyers. "Simon has serious competition for General Growth," says Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Fick in a research note, citing improved credit market liquidity, recent mall sales and GGP's restructuring of $8.9 billion of secured debt. Likely contenders for the company include Vornado Realty Trust and Brookfield Asset Management.

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