Simon Property Group: Asserting Dominance Over Competitors

  • Big companies will inevitably face challenges.
  • But the great companies can overcome them.
  • Simon is positioning for market share dominance and shareholder value creation.

The Buy Thesis

Once a new equilibrium emerges, I firmly believe that Simon Property (SPG) will be significantly more valuable than it is today. I fully acknowledge the multitude of challenges facing retail today and these challenges are even greater for the mall subsector, so in this article I would like to dig deep into the difficulties to explore the pathway to stabilization.

Not every mall will survive.

Many already have gone under.

SPG is better positioned than all of their peers with:

  • Stronger balance sheet
  • Higher quality of malls
  • More international exposure
  • Ample cash flows to finance any required redevelopment
  • Dominant market share

As such, when the new equilibrium emerges, SPG will be in a good place. Let me begin by discussing the problems as they exist today and follow with the pathway by which market mechanisms adjust to these problems. Finally, I will take a look at what SPG is worth on the other side.

Multitude of challenges

The most obvious one is COVID-19. We feel the impact in our daily lives even if we have been fortunate enough to not be ourselves afflicted. Until this is resolved, mall tenants will struggle to be profitable.

Recall that malls were challenged well before the virus and this was the result of e-commerce and oversupply.

E-commerce as a percent of retail sales grew to about 11% prior to the crisis and was then accelerated by the lockdown up to around 15%.