Stuy Town Judge Tells Ackman: Put up $3.7B

A judge yesterday said hedge fund titan Bill Ackman will have to cough up $3.7 billion if he wants to proceed with his ambitious plan to take over the iconic Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village apartment complex — a severe blow to the proposed deal.

Ackman, whose hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management bought a key $300 million slice of StuyTown’s debt for 15 cents on the dollar — or $45 million — and planned to foreclose on the entity responsible for the $3 billion mortgage, said he is not giving up the fight.

“We are going to appeal,” Ackman told The Post.

The 44-year-old investment guru now faces the likelihood that senior lenders will proceed with their own foreclosure action on the property. That action is slated for Oct. 4 and Ackman said he will ask for a court-ordered stay of that foreclosure.

In blocking Ackman, Manhattan state court Judge Richard Lowe sided with the holders of the mortgage, who sued the hedge-fund titan and his deal partner, Winthrop Realty, for attempting to take over StuyTown.

Judge Lowe sided with the mortgage holders, saying they are within their rights to move forward with their foreclosure plans. Ackman’s team can’t foreclose on their collateral, the mortgage entity, unless they cough up the $3.7 billion owed the senior lenders for the mortgage plus accrued interest, the judge said.

“We think the judge made a very solid decision,” said Greg Cross, the lawyer representing the senior lenders that sued to stop Ackman from taking over. “The senior lender is supposed to drive the bus,” he said.

If Ackman’s appeal fails, it could kill his plans to convert $45 million into ownership of the coveted property, worth closer to $2 billion.

Source

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