Orange County Business Journal

Grubb & Ellis in Talks With BGC Partners for Possible Investment

Mark Mueller Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co. said on Tuesday that it is in discussions with New York-based brokerage BGC Partners LP regarding a possible financing deal.

Grubb, which has been eyeing potential financing deals and exploring a potential merger or sale since March, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that BGC “is potentially willing to pursue a financing transaction.”

A potential transaction could include a loan to refinance Grubb’s senior debt, or BGC could provide additional working capital for the struggling commercial real estate company.

Grubb and BGC entered into an exclusivity agreement that runs through the end of month.

BGC last year acquired another commercial real estate brokerage, New York-based Newmark Knight Frank, for $63 million and stock.

Grubb had been negotiating with Irving, Texas-based C-III Capital Partners LLC, an affiliate of Island Capital Group LLC, as well as Santa Monica-based hedge fund Colony Capital LLC, since late last year regarding a potential deal.

An exclusivity agreement between Grubb, C-III and Colony expired on Sunday without a deal being announced.

Terms of any potential deal with BGC were not disclosed. Grubb currently counts a market value of less than $7 million; its stock was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month.

BGC counts a market value of about $800 million.