Real Estate The $20 Billion Question

Can Canada's cash-starved Reichmann family pull off the biggest private debt restructuring in history?

For months, rumors swirled through financial and real estate markets that the Reichmanns, Canada's multibillionaire developers, were desperately short of one essential commodity -- cash. Brothers Paul and Albert responded, characteristically, with silence. Last week, though, they were forced to talk. In a brief communique, they admitted that their global real estate holding company, Olympia & York, was suffering a "liquidity crisis." As a result, the company would meet with its bankers to restructure debts totaling an estimated $20 billion.

Less than two days after that announcement, the Toronto headquarters of Olympia & York lobbed another bombshell by reporting a shake-up...

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