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Grubb & Ellis looks into possible sale, merger

The Santa Ana-based firm has hired JMP Securities as a strategic adviser to explore alternatives.

By Kristen SchottPublished: March 22, 2011 09:22 AM

Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co. has tapped San Francisco's JMP Securities to look into strategic alternatives such as a possible sale or merger of the business.

The commercial real estate services and investment firm seeks to find ways to "best leverage" its capabilities in the recovering market, said C. Michael Kojaian, chairman of the board.

"While the management team has made progress restructuring the business and driving top-line growth, we believe now is the time to explore opportunities," he said.

The company also has received "unsolicited inquiries," which added to the decision, said Kojaian.

In conjunction with the plan, Grubb & Ellis' board will not declare a quarterly dividend to its 12 percent Cumulative Participating Perpetual Convertible Preferred stockholders.

Grubb & Ellis is among the largest of its kind in the world, with 5,200 employees in more than 100 company-owned and affiliated offices. The firm reported fourth-quarter 2010 revenue of $163.5 million, up 10 percent from the same time in 2009. For the full year, revenue rose 9 percent to $575.5 million.

"A formal process to explore a transaction which affords the company the opportunity to drive additional scale across our platform is in the best interests of our corporate stakeholders, clients, broker-dealer partners and Grubb & Ellis professionals," said Thomas D'Arcy, the company's president and CEO. "We look forward to working with JMP in this process."

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