Grubb Sells Interest in Alesco Global Advisors to Lazard Asset Management

Grubb & Ellis continues to bolster its balance sheet, closing the sale of Alesco Global Advisors to Lazard Asset Management L.L.C.

October 10, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Grubb & Ellis continues to bolster its balance sheet with bold moves as the company completes the disposition of Alesco Global Advisors. The commercial real estate services firm has closed the sale of the real estate investment fund business to Lazard Asset Management L.L.C.

“The sale is consistent with the company’s strategy of focusing on our core real estate services and non-traded REIT businesses,” a Grubb & Ellis spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. “These are the businesses we want to grow.” The firm offers a full complement of services to real estate owners, tenants and advisors, and has recently seen some trading by its Healthcare REIT II Advisor L.L.C., purchasing a 10-facility nursing portfolio for $166.5 million.

Alesco, founded in 2006, is an investment advisor focusing on real estate securities and managing three registered mutual funds. Grubb & Ellis’ history with the entity dates back to late 2007, when the firm merged with NNN Realty Advisors Inc. Just prior to the closing of the merger, NNN announced that it would acquire a 51 percent interest in Alesco.

Financial terms of Grubb & Ellis’ sale of Alesco to Lazard have not been publicly disclosed. However, upon announcing the signing of the definitive agreement in June of this year, the firm indicated that it expected to realize a $3 million loss on the sale in the third quarter as a result of the deficit balance of non-controlling interests.

Completion of the Alesco deal, which officially occurred in September, comes one month after Grubb & Ellis wrapped up the disposition of Daymark Realty Advisors, its tenant-in-common business, to a joint venture consisting of Sovereign Capital Management Group and Infinity Urban Century in an all-stock transaction. “The sale of Alesco combined with last month’s divestiture of Daymark Realty Advisors has significantly strengthened the company’s balance sheet and better positioned Grubb & Ellis as we continue to search for long-term strategic alternatives,” Thomas P. D’Arcy, president and CEO of Grubb & Ellis, said.