Daily News: February 21, 2012

Grubb & Ellis Enters Into Strategic Transaction With BGC Partners

Grubb & Ellis Company announced that it has signed an agreement to sell substantially all its assets to BGC Partners, Inc., a global intermediary to the wholesale financial markets. BGC owns Newmark Knight Frank, one of the largest commercial real estate service firms in the U.S.

Upon completion, Grubb & Ellis believes the acquisition by BGC will bring the much-needed scale and resources the company had been seeking through its strategic process. The partnership with BGC, a financially strong and respected organization with a deep commitment to the commercial real estate markets, will position Grubb & Ellis to become part of a well-capitalized global platform.

Grubb & Ellis intends to implement the transaction as an asset sale under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. To that end, the company has commenced Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Grubb & Ellis expects business to continue without disruption as it completes the 363 sale process as expeditiously as possible. The company has simultaneously filed motions requesting that the court, among other things, approve sale procedures and fix a hearing date and time to approve a sale. Additionally, the company has filed a series of motions to facilitate ongoing operations.

BGC has committed to provide Grubb & Ellis with debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing to support the company’s operations throughout the 363 sale process. Following court approval, the DIP financing, combined with funds generated by the company’s ongoing operations, will be used to support the business through the consummation of the sale.

“Following a thorough and rigorous process and the evaluation of all available options, we determined that a partnership with BGC provides the best platform for our brokerage professionals, employees and clients,” said Thomas P. D’Arcy, president and chief executive officer of Grubb & Ellis. “We believe the transaction will be seamless for our clients and we expect no disruption to the company’s operations. Furthermore, we believe our professionals and clients will benefit greatly by being part of the BGC organization, which, with its recent acquisition of Newmark Knight Frank, will bring together two strong brands to create a powerhouse in the commercial real estate space. BGC’s purchase of the company’s senior debt and its willingness to provide incremental financing to ensure the smooth execution of the sale process demonstrate its commitment to the success of the Grubb & Ellis business.”

Grubb & Ellis Company is a commercial real estate services firm, providing transaction services, property management, facilities management and valuation services through more than 100 company-owned and affiliate offices.