Grubb & Ellis goes bust, sells assets to brokerage

Besieged real estate company declares Chapter 11; BGC Partners picks up the pieces

Grubb & Ellis Co., a U.S. real estate services company, agreed to sell almost all its assets to BGC Partners Inc. and filed for bankruptcy protection.
Grubb & Ellis listed assets of as much as $500 million and liabilities of up to the same amount in the Chapter 11 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York yesterday. The company said it completed about 12,000 sale and lease transactions last year and manages more than 250 million square feet of property.
“We determined that a partnership with BGC provides the best platform for our brokerage professionals, employees and clients,” Thomas P. D’Arcy, chief executive officer of Grubb & Ellis, said in a statement yesterday. “We expect no disruption to the company’s operations.”
The Santa Ana, California-based company blamed the downturn in the U.S. real estate market between 2007 and 2009 for losses during the period that it said severely strained its liquidity and hampered its ability to keep operating, according to a court filing. Grubb & Ellis failed to find a buyer outside the bankruptcy process, Chief Financial Officer Michael Rispoli said in the filing.
BGC Partners, a New York-based broker of financial products, agreed to provide a loan of as much as $4.8 million to Grubb & Ellis to keep it operating during the bankruptcy process, Rispoli said.
–Bloomberg News–

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