Northeast bureau chief Glen Thompson assisted in the preparation of this article.

NEW YORK CITY-Just to make things clear at the outset, no one representing Grubb & Ellis in the highly publicized acquisition talks would state for the record what insiders have confirmed–that it was indeed CB Richard Ellis who had the firm in its acquisition sights. But who it was became somewhat of moot point with the report that talks have been terminated.

Asked if the negotiations broke down over money, Grubb & Ellis CEO Barry Barovick told that it wasn’t price, it was the broad discrepancies between the two firms’ “visions.” The comment echoed the official press release, which referred only to “an unrelated third party” and its “unsolicited merger proposal.”

In the release, Barovick stated that in the course of the talks, Grubb officials “came to realize that the potential merger partner did not share our vision regarding the industry in general, and our integrated business model in particular. In addition, it also became increasingly apparent that there were significant overlaps of personnel and locations, which led us to believe that too many of our personnel, all of whom we greatly value, would not be retained. The cumulative weight of those issues, and others, led us to terminate the discussions.”

Barovick broke that down for, stating that “We have loyalty to our employees and there was 100% overlap. We have loyalty to our vision, and they were only looking at our transaction capabilities, not our consulting or our management and certainly not our integrated strategy.” He says that while the buyout would have resulted in Grubb people ending up on the streets, talks had not progressed to the point where specific numbers were discussed.

Asked if more money would have helped to bridge some of those visionary gaps, the CEO said that better terms would have made the decision to terminate harder, but the talks would have terminated nonetheless.

He added that the deal will not be revisited, nor will the company seek another purchaser–at least partially answering speculation that he was brought aboard originally just to gussy-up the company for a buyout.

“Grubb & Ellis is not for sale,” he stated. “In fact, it was never up for sale. The potential merger partner came in unsolicited. But if there was another unsolicited offer, we would have the fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders to consider it.”

Spokespeople for CBRE had little to say in response to the news: “Our position is quite simply that we are not commenting on market rumors,” said a spokesperson.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.