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Perspective

The intrigue and maneuvering during the final hours between Blackstone and Vornado in their bidding for Equity Office Properties was interesting stuff: a deal so large, so significant, yet when the hammer fell on the Blackstone bid, it was all over.  Within a day or two, the transaction closed and EOP ceased to be.  During the whole process I often thought about the human side of the deal.  The seesaw of bids must have been frustrating for the rank and file of the company, knowing all too well that their careers were going to be turned upside down.  What is interesting about the final outcome is the speed with which the company and portfolio are being dismantled.  Overnight, corporate staff became unnecessary, and the breakup of the portfolio will dislocate all levels of the organization, even down to onsite staff.  Not only was this the biggest buy-out ever, but it’s the largest wholesale dismantling of an organization constructed during the REIT era.  I guess that’s progress?

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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