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NEW YORK CITY-Grubb & Ellis Co. today will name Michael Kojaian as its new chairman. The longtime G&E stockholder recently invested $15.2 million in the company through his wholly owned company, Kojaian Ventures LLC.

In discussing his new position, Kojaian refers to a recent spate of articles published on GlobeSt.com and elsewhere reporting that Grubb was in the process of being sold. “Over the past six weeks, as a company Grubb & Ellis has faced and overcome several serious challenges,” said Kojaian. “We’ve lost some good people, and we’ve added some good people. We have also done a lot more business than most people realize, and have capitalized on a unique opportunity to really examine and evaluate our systems, human capital, geographic positioning and competitive structure.”

Kojaian comes to the firm nearly a month to the day after president and CEO Barry M. Barovick told GlobeSt.com that G&E was off the sale block, putting an end to industry-wide scuttlebutt about the firm’s short- and long-term prospects. Negotiations with another firm–roundly believed and reported here to have been CB Richard Ellis–broke down over what Barovick said at the time were what Hollywood would call “artistic differences.” Barovick cited disparate corporate philosophies, not price, as the deal breaker.

“We are committed to building a more comprehensive and strategic industry resource, one that is solidly based on our strong foundation in the commercial real estate brokerage and management business,” says Barovick. “We are going to give our clients what they have been asking for–intelligent transactions that are driven by strategic thinking and an asset management mentality,” Barovick says.

Stating that he is “determined to make sure that Grubb & Ellis transaction professionals are provided with the most comprehensive package of client services and solutions in the commercial real estate industry,” Kojaian notes that he intends to “actively support the long-term plan of Grubb & Ellis Management to build on its transaction expertise and establish the real estate industry’s first globally integrated real estate services company.”

Grubb’s outgoing chairman, Reuben Leibowitz, is a principal of locally based venture capital firm Warburg Pincus, which continues to own a large chunk of G&E.

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