Bankkruptcy Court Approves Grubb & Ellis’s Sale to BGC Partners

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor BGC Partners Inc., a New York financial services firm, has received the bankruptcy court’s approval to acquire substantially all the assets of Grubb & Ellis Co., the fifth-largest commercial property manager in the Pittsburgh region according to the 2012 Pittsburgh Business Times Book of Lists. On Feb. 20, Grubb & Ellis listed [...]

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

BGC Partners Inc., a New York financial services firm, has received the bankruptcy court’s approval to acquire substantially all the assets of Grubb & Ellis Co., the fifth-largest commercial property manager in the Pittsburgh region according to the 2012 Pittsburgh Business Times Book of Lists.

On Feb. 20, Grubb & Ellis listed $150 million in assets and $167 million in debt in a Chapter 11 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. According to court documents, the company simultaneously filed a motion to sell its assets to BGC Partners Inc. for an estimated $30 million credit bid, plus $4.8 million in bankruptcy financing.

The Washington Business Journal reported that a group of unsecured creditors sought to block or postpone the company’s proposed bankruptcy sale, claiming prospective bidders would not have enough time to submit competing bids. On March 27, Grubb & Ellis Co. received the court’s approval to move forward with the BGC transaction after an additional $15 million was added to the lead bid, an amendment meant to address the creditors’ objections.

BGC Partners will now own both Newmark Knight Frank and Grubb & Ellis and more than 100 offices in North America, 250 million square feet of space under property and facilities management contracts, and a national appraisal business.

“As we welcome the Grubb & Ellis team to the BGC family, we intend to apply our financial strength, powerful proprietary technology, and deep marketplace relationships to provide Grubb & Ellis and its professionals with the resources they need to thrive and grow,” said Howard W. Lutnick, chairman and CEO of BGC.

The transaction was implemented as an asset sale under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., an affiliate of Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., acted as a financial adviser to BGC.