Real Estate Industry Crash Burns Grubb & Ellis, Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Real estate brokerage Grubb & Ellis Co. recently filed for bankruptcy, reports the LA Times, and will sell its assets to the parent company of its rival, Newmark Knight Frank, as part of a prepackaged bankruptcy, according to the firms.

BGC Partners Inc., a New York financial services firm that acquired Newmark Knight Frank in October, agreed to buy essentially all the assets of Grubb & Ellis for an undisclosed price.

Grubb & Ellis will conduct its asset sale under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and has commenced Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.


The firms did not reveal whether the Grubb & Ellis name would survive the takeover. The company’s yellow-and-black signs are a common sight on offices, warehouses and other commercial buildings available for sale or lease.

Grubb & Ellis was formed in Oakland in 1958 by Bill Grubb and Hal Ellis and grew into what was once the largest independently owned, publicly traded real estate firm in the United States. It borrowed heavily to expand, however, and had trouble turning a profit after the real estate industry crashed in the early 1990s.

The brokerage was dropped as a sponsor for Grubb & Ellis Healthcare REIT II, Inc. last November, which is now sponsored by American Healthcare Investors, LLC and Griffin Capital Corporation, and known as Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II.


Following this, Grubb & Ellis’ share prices fell below $1, and it was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange in January.

Read the LA Times article here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

Companies featured in this article: