Robert Maguire Floats Plan to Take Firm Private

Robert Maguire III, chairman & CEO of Maguire Properties Inc., has proposed a plan to privatize the REIT. The proposal represents the latest chapter in the company’s efforts to resolve its debt problems, which is being spearheaded by a special committee of independent directors.As recently as last month, as reported by CPN, the committee let it be known that it hadn’t received any desirable bids for the company, and that it wasn’t pursuing a buyer. The committee cited adverse market conditions inspired by the credit crunch as the main reason for discontinuing its search.The newly proposed plan calls for the disposition of substantially all of the company’s non-Orange County assets, which would pay for a special cash distribution to shareholders. The offer totals about $18.18 per share from the sale of the non-Orange County assets, plus about $2.82 per share from Robert Maguire.If realized, the plan would see Robert Maguire owning about 75 percent of the company, while current shareholders would retain a “stub” interest in the company. The plan would require approval by two-thirds of the company’s outstanding stockholders. As yet, the committee has not responded to Robert Maguire’s plan, nor have representatives of the Maguire Properties responded to inquires from CPN.Maguire took on high levels of debt with its acquisition about a year ago when it bought a 24-building Orange County and Los Angeles County portfolio from the Blackstone Group L.P. for about $3 billion. Late last year, major stockholder JMB Capital Partners suggested the sort of review committee that Maguire’s board ultimately formed, to explore ways of dealing with the company’s debt.