Thompson’s Comeback Bid Caps Dramatic Month for Grubb & Ellis

After the events of the past month, the leadership of Grubb & Ellis Co. may welcome some peace and quiet this summer. In what could be the capper in a series of personnel shufflings, former board chairman Anthony Thompson, who helped engineer a blockbuster merger with NNN Realty Advisors and is still the company’s second-largest stockholder, wants to rejoin the firm’s board of directors.Thompson’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission expressed dismay over the company’s leadership and direction, citing in particular falling stock prices. In a letter to Grubb & Ellis’ leadership filed with SEC and dated Thursday, Thompson wrote: “In the recent months since I left the board, Grubb & Ellis has announced poor results, been wracked by management turnover, and suffered an expensive and embarrassing setback when the special purpose acquisition vehicle that it sponsored unceremoniously failed.” In particular, Thompson cited a 42 percent decline in the company’s stock value this year, including a 21 percent drop this week.“Although I fully understand the challenges presented by competition and the market, I refuse to accept that Grubb & Ellis’ stock should be permitted to significantly under-perform that of its industry peers, which it has thus far this year,” Thompson added. He told the company’s directors that he has devised what he described as “a carefully thought through strategy that I believe will enable Grubb & Ellis to leverage the compelling benefits of pairing on a single, integrated platform its legacy business lines and the business of NNN Realty Advisors.” Grubb & Ellis executives could not be reached for an interview by today’s deadline, but the firm offered assurances that the company is moving forward. In a prepared statement, board chairman Glenn Carpenter said, “The board believes that the company has made considerable progress over the past six months integrating Grubb & Ellis and NNN Realty Advisors, making the changes, during very difficult market conditions, necessary to position the company for increased growth and shareholder value over the long-term.” Thompson’s return to Grubb & Ellis would amount to an abrupt change of direction for the executive, who stepped down as board chairman in February. Two months later, Thompson launched a new private investment firm, Thompson National Properties L.L.C. Thompson’s move came days after Tuesday’s announcement that Robert Osbrink, executive vice president and chairman of transaction services, had left the firm and been replaced by firm’s COO, Jack Van Berkel. And three weeks ago, Triple Net Properties L.L.C., which is now under the Grubb & Ellis umbrella, was cleared in an investigation by the SEC.To Blog and Comment Click Here