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IRVINE, CA-Less than five months after resigning as chairman of the board of Grubb & Ellis Co., Tony Thompson–the second-largest Grubb & Ellis shareholder–has asked to be reappointed to the Santa Ana, CA-based company’s board to correct what he sees as serious problems at the firm. Thompson, in an SEC filing Thursday, said that in the months since he resigned all of his posts at Grubb & Ellis, the company “has announced poor results, been wracked by management turnover, and suffered an expensive and embarrassing setback when the special purpose acquisition vehicle that it sponsored, unceremoniously failed.”

Neither Thompson nor Grubb & Ellis officials could be reached for comment Thursday afternoon, but Grubb & Ellis issued a statement by board chairman Glenn L. Carpenter saying, “The board has received Mr. Thompson’s letter and will respond in due course.” Thompson’s request for a board seat comes days after the abrupt resignation of Robert Osbrink as chairman of transaction services for Grubb & Ellis and a month after the company reported a quarterly loss of $5.9 million.

Thompson’s SEC filing says that, as the second-largest shareholder of Grubb & Ellis with a 13.9% stake, he has “watched in shock over the past three months as the company’s stock price has plunged nearly 42%, losing approximately 21% of its value in the last three days alone.” Grubb & Ellis stock was trading at about $3.85 on Thursday, down from its 52-week high of $12.15.

The special purpose vehicle Thompson says, in his filing, “unceremoniously failed” was Grubb and Ellis Realty Advisors, which Grubb & Ellis formed in 2006. In its quarterly earnings conference call last month, Grubb & Ellis blamed most of its quarterly loss on Grubb and Ellis Realty Advisors, writing off $5.8 million before taxes and $3.4 million after taxes for the special purpose entity.

Thompson, the tenant-in-common industry pioneer who engineered the merger of his NNN Realty Advisors with Grubb & Ellis last year, says in his SEC filing that he has “a carefully thought-through strategy” that can get Grubb & Ellis back on track. “Although I fully understand the challenges presented by competition and the market, I refuse to accept that Grubb & Ellis’ stock should be permitted to significantly under-perform that of its industry peers, which it has thus far this year,” Thompson’s filing says.

Grubb & Ellis board chairman Carpenter’s response Thursday said, “The board believes that the company has made considerable progress over the past six months integrating Grubb & Ellis and NNN Realty Advisors, making the changes, during very difficult market conditions, necessary to position the company for increased growth and shareholder value over the long-term.”

Thompson asks to be reappointed to the Grubb & Ellis board when it meets on July 10. Thompson became chairman of Grubb & Ellis on Dec. 7 last year when the company’s merger with NNN Realty Advisors was completed, at which time Grubb & Ellis named Carpenter as chairman of the board. Since leaving the firm in February, he has founded Thompson National Properties LLC, an Irvine-based firm that specializes in value-added investments and asset management for high-net-worth domestic, foreign and institutional investors.

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