Grubb & Ellis Readies for Control Battle With Tony Thompson

Commercial News » Commercial Real Estate Edition | By Alex Finkelstein | November 25, 2008 9:02 AM ET

(SANTA ANA, CA) - Grubb & Ellis Co., anticipating a hostile takeover, has alerted stockholders to a coming control battle with Irvine, CA-based Thompson National Properties. The stockholders meet Dec. 3.

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Stuart Tanz

Grubb & Ellis is asking them to reject plans by Anthony W. Thompson "to take control" of  G&E by installing Stuart A. Tanz, founder and CEO of San Marcos, CA-based United Income Properties, as CEO.

Thompson would then "cause Grubb & Ellis to buy or absorb Thompson National Properties, a direct competitor," according to the G&E filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Anthony Thompson

"Electing Anthony Thompson and his nominees would undermine important business inroads the company has made since his departure, and reverse the constructive steps management and the board have been taking to create value for all stockholders," the filing states.

Gary Hunt currently is an interim director and CEO of Grubb & Ellis.

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Gary Hunt

Thompson founded Thompson National Properties LLC in April of this year and registered the company in Delaware.

The limited liability company "provides value-added real estate investment opportunities and asset management to high net worth domestic, foreign and institutional investors," Thompson says.

"Our goal is to provide investors with the highest returns proportionate to risk through value-added funds and astute investment strategies," he states on his company's web site.

Thompson has been a portfolio management specialist for 35 years. He founded two other companies in the past decade, Triple Net Properties, LLC and NNN Realty Advisors, Inc., where nearly $3 billion of equity was invested in 250 properties nationwide for 30,000 investors.

In December 2007, NNN Realty Advisors completed a reverse merger with Grubb & Ellis. The combined entity had more than 6,000 employees with 220 million square feet of commercial property under management.

Thompson then forged ahead by launching a third company, Thompson National Properties, to take advantage of a recessionary real estate market.

In its letter to stockholders, Grubb & Ellis states its board and management team have "a sound strategic plan in place and are taking aggressive actions to increase productivity, reduce costs and position the company for profitable and sustainable growth and success."
Additionally, the Grubb & Ellis filing states it "has the right board in place - independent, experienced and committed to creating value for all stockholders."

The company also asks stockholders to vote for the company's three independent and experienced directors - Harold H. Greene, Devin I. Murphy and D. Fleet Wallace.

The presentation is available on the Investor Relations section of the company's Web site at or at the SEC's Web site at
Grubb & Ellis Co. (NYSE: GBE) is one of the largest and most respected commercial real estate services and investment companies. It has  more than 130 owned and affiliate offices worldwide.

Grubb & Ellis and its subsidiaries are leading sponsors of real estate investment programs that provide individuals and institutions the opportunity to invest in a broad range of real estate investment vehicles, including tax-deferred 1031 tenant-in-common (TIC) exchanges, public non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and real estate investment funds.

As of September 30, 2008, more than $3.8 billion in investor equity has been raised for these investment programs.

The company and its subsidiaries currently manage a growing portfolio of more than 225 million square feet of real estate. In 2007, Grubb & Ellis was selected from among 15,000 vendors as Microsoft Corporation's Vendor of the Year.

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